Left-handed starting pitcher Cory Luebke is likely headed to elbow reconstruction surgery as soon as the end of this week according to Padres manager Bud Black. "I think Cory is leaning strongly toward having the surgery," said Black. "When he adds everything up, all the opinions, this is the (course) of action. It's a very tough decision." Luebke, who has consulted a number of experts and former players, has Black's backing on the decision to go ahead with the surgery. "In my opinion, the surgery is the right thing to do at this point," Black said after the Padres' 13- inning, 3-2 win over the Angels Sunday at Petco Park. Luebke was not at Petco Park Sunday to confirm Black's assessment. Black made his initial remarks earlier Sunday after the Padres announced that Luebke was being transferred from the 15-day to 60-day disabled list to open a spot for right-handed reliever Matt Palmer on the 40-man roster. Luebke has been on the disabled list since making his last start at San Francisco on April 27. At first, Luebke's problem was listed as elbow tightness. But a subsequent MRI revealed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament -- which is repaired via a ligament transplant in a procedure called "Tommy John surgery." After that MRI, Luebke said "Tommy John surgery" and extended rehabilitation were his only options. And if the rehab failed, Luebke would then need the surgery six-to-eight weeks from now -- pushing back his return in 2013. The 27-year-old pitcher has been getting more expert opinions over the past two weeks.
- Cory Luebke