Tazawa could need elbow surgery

Junichi Tazawa spoke to the media this morning. The young righthander was in Alabama yesterday to have his elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews.

Tazawa said there is a ligament issue and that surgery “will be part of the discussion.”

“We haven’t really come up with a plan yet,” Tazawa said.

Tommy John surgery is practically a requirement for pitchers these days and when elbow ligaments are weak, it’s usually just a matter of time before something happens.

We’re expecting an update on Tazawa once we get to Port Charlotte for today’s game. Check back later on for more on this story.

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UPDATE, 11:45 a.m.: Terry Francona revealed that Tazawa has a sprained ulnar collateral ligament. That means there is some tearing but it’s not completely torn.

“He’s talking to the medical staff to try and figure out the best way to go about this,” Francona said. “The way he was throwing, even last year when he got called up, we weren’t seeing quite what we were seeing in spring training. After watching him all spring we wanted to get him looked at and we’re glad we did.

“He and the medical staff, they have to figure out the best course of action. Whether it’s surgery, whether it’s rehab. That’s kind of where we’re at right now. … Dr. Andrews kind of laid everything out for him. Soon we’ll figure out what’s going to happen. I think a lot is getting thrown at him in a hurry.”

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