Surgery recommended for Ivan Nova following second opinion

4/22-4/24 Series Preview: Boston Red Sox
Game 20: Tanaka takes Fenway

After being re-evaluated by team doctor Dr. Ahmad on Monday, surgery has been recommended for Ivan Nova‘s partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, the Yankees announced. An MRI arthrogram confirmed the original diagnosis.

Nova, 27, left Saturday’s start with a sore elbow and initial tests revealed the partial UCL tear. Rest and rehab never seems to work, and once the ligament starts tearing, Tommy John surgery becomes inevitable. Now that it has been officially recommended by the team doctor, it’s just a matter of setting a date and going under the knife. The procedure will sideline Nova for 12-18 months. Sucks.

4/22-4/24 Series Preview: Boston Red Sox
Game 20: Tanaka takes Fenway
  • I’m One

    This was expected, but still sucks!

  • Yankeefan91

    I think well make a trade at the deadline for a starter.

  • Algernon Blackwood

    That’s to bad. And shame on ‘Peter’ for calling him a faker in the game thread.

    • Havok9120

      Wait, that actually happened?


    • Worst Fans In Baseball

      Not gonna lie, not having watched the game, when I heard Nova came out in the 5th and then went on the 15 day I thought that this was his/the Yankees way of giving him his annual Scranton vacation this year…sadly I was wrong.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Yeah, no one’s been able to successfully rehab. Just get it done. We’ll still be here when you get back, Ivan.

  • Mikhel

    Sad for Nova, it has to be hell for him right now that even when “Tommy John Surgery” is effective in a lot of cases, there is a chance he never gets to pitch again.

    Ojalá todo salga bien para él (I hope everything goes fine for him).

  • Reggie C.

    Time to fire up the Cliff Lee bad trade ideas generator!

    • Havok9120

      We’ve already had a few gems. I’m sure the Game Thread will bring more.

      And just wait until Nuno has a bad start. They generator will overload.

    • I’m One

      Have to factor in that Lee will be 36 this season, only has 1+ years left on his contract and that you’re dealing with Ruben Amaro. Offer him a PTBNL.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I’ll spot you a “‘somebody says Luis Torrens and Gosuke Katoh’ and another guy says ‘the Yanks hang up!'”

    • vin

      Stephen Who?

      Bring me all the Cliff Lee’s!!!!1!!

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    I’d like to thank the good Lord for starting pitching depth.

    Not that I want anyone to get injured, but it’s probably the most precious commodity in the young season so far, considering all the injuries we’ve seen around the league.

  • RetroRob

    I wouldn’t expect Nova to be back fully until 2016. I’m sure he’ll pitch next year, but have low expectations for results. Tough timing for him. Have to wonder if he’ll even make it back to the Yankees rotation if they go out and sign a pithcher and Banuelos progresses.

    • will

      Banuelos needs to make it out of the 1st inning in A ball first

  • Darren

    Just to confirm, when you say that “surgery has been recommended”, does that 100% mean Tommy John surgery, or is any other type of less invasive surgery an option?

    • Mike Axisa

      Yeah, it’s TJS.

      • Darren

        Thanks, that’s too bad. 12-18 months is long time.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      There’s always the lesser-known “Rudy May Surgery.”

      I’ll show myself out.

  • Derek Jeter

    Bring Nick Swisher back. He pitched well for us a few years ago. Plus he can hit!!

  • Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

    Get well soon Ivan! See you in September 2015!

  • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

    Well, atleast it was Tommy John and not Tommy Smith/John Carlos surgery.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      It leads to compulsive posting of .gif files, I hear.

      • RetroRob

        Worse. It leads to a complete vanishing!

        • Jayne air.

          Where is that guy anyway? What type of surgery did he have?

  • New Guy

    My initials are TJS. Good thing I’m not a pitcher, or that’d be a head line waiting to happen. Feel bad for Nova. I’ve loved him ever since his start against Baltimore last year around the 4th of July. Just dominant.

  • Bronx Boy

    What happened to all these guys before ‘Tommy John’ was around as a procedure? Good luck, Ivan.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      You never heard from them again.

    • Worst Fans In Baseball

      A lifetime of sitting on a barstool, reciting the “I coulda been a contenda!” speech from On the Waterfront to anyone who will listen over a beer.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner


        My eighth grade teacher made us watch that movie and told us we’d remember that line for the rest of our lives. He was right.

    • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

      some became knuckleball pitchers.

      the game was different back then. batters weren’t trying to drive ever ball, they focused more on making contact. Pitchers weren’t throwing hard, rather pitching to contact, inducing grounders with breaking balls.

      About a year or two ago some cable channel was replaying the 1969 Mets world series games vs Baltimore and it was weird watching such a different style of play

    • W.B. Mason Williams

      They got the much less popular and less well-known “Johnny Tom” surgery…

  • mike

    Masterson, Max and Shields all just dialed their real estate agents looking for places in Rye and the UES.

    • I’m One

      I’d sign up for any of them (although Max seems the least likely, and is probably the one I’d want most).

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        God, Masterson would slide into Nova’s slot so perfectly if everything else works out for the rotation (and you know how tha usually goes….)

        • Jorge Steinbrenner


  • Matt

    The amount of TJS happening is absolutely ridiculous. Nova becomes the 15th pitcher to undergo TJS in just THIS SEASON. It really shows you that the human arm is not meant to throw a ball that many times and at that angle.

    • RetroRob

      Meanwhile, the surgery is much more a rarity in Japan.

      Is it because their starters only pitch once a week?

      Is it because they face less demaning line ups?

      Is it because their work load means those most likely to blow their arms out do so before they make the Japanese pro leagues?

      Is it because on average they don’t throw as hard?

      Is it because their starters throw more pitches, which means MLB’s approach is all wrong in the States?

      Could be a little bit of it all? There has to be a better way.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Is it because there’s no actual direct English-to-Japanese translation for “Tommy John?”

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Very good point, though. A whole lot of theories. No answers.

  • TWTR

    Good luck, Nova.

  • Yan Solo

    What’s really sickening is that (and I don’t know if this is still a trend or not, but it was for a while at the least…) parents were having their teenage boys get Tommy John surgery BEFORE they even showed any sign of an injury in their arms. Apparently (and hopefully my memory serves me correctly from the special news report I saw on this a few years ago), they were doing it not as some sort of “just get it out of the way now so they can pitch normal going ahead” but rather they were doing it so that their children could throw all the pitches that they’re generally not allowed to at that age which is so destructive, especially on still growing ligaments, joints, and bones. I would really like to see a study on who has gotten TJS and what kind of pitches they were heavily reliant on. I could be completely wrong, but I believe it has to weigh as a much heavier possibility to happen for pitchers who can’t simply “dial it up” and throw it straight, but rather on those pitchers who have to develop a lot of torque on their arm, wrist, elbow, etc. to get heavy breaking movement on a ball still traveling anywhere in the high 80s to mid 90s. Again, I could be way off on all this, but TJS sure has become way more predominant than ever before and only seems to be going up and it all happens with the blink of an eye. Crazy.

    • Yan Solo

      I forgot this, but it probably goes without saying that parents were allowing their sons to do this so they could throw certain pitches at a younger age, for scouts watching younger and younger players, in hopes of…you guessed it…raising their draft status. Again, that’s what I remember from the report, so take it with a grain of salt for analysis because it was a while ago that I saw it.

    • TWTR

      Yes, and some parents think that pot is the biggest threat to young people…

      Good point though. Getting preventive TJS is a great example of bizarre overparenting. I wonder if there has been some longitudinal study on the surgical outcomes.

      I think the shift in risk assessment about the surgery would now make drafting or trading for a pitcher who you know needs TJS is probably not the low-risk move that it was once widely thought to be.

  • LarryM Fl

    As much as I felt Nova was trending to Hughes. I wish him the best and hope he can rehab back through the next 12-18 months which will make him close to 29 years of age. Still young for a return to the MLB but with a cloud hanging over him.

    For the small % who actually make it to the big leagues it’s a tough pill to swallow when TJ surgery is recommended. Your rehab is monitored by the big club but the distance from actually playing is monumental.

  • FLYER7

    Does Nova become the CMW of his generation of starters?

  • Cheval Anonyme

    I’m going to post here for the record, belatedly and redundantly, as it seems appropriate.

    Yangervis Solarte anagram of the day:

    “Ivan’s Greatly Sore.”