Danny Duffy and the Kansas City Royals received the worst-case-scenario news Monday.
Duffy, who left Sunday's game in Chicago after 13 pitches, has a torn ulnar ligament in his left elbow and is probably bound for season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Royals physician Vincent Key diagnosed the tear after examining Duffy on Monday in Kansas City. Duffy will seek a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles before undergoing the operation. An appointment with Yocum had not been set.
"The bad news is, yeah it stinks," manager Ned Yost said. "He'll probably be out a year. The good news is, when he comes back, the way they've been doing these surgeries, he's going to be every bit as strong or stronger, and ready to resume his career."
Duffy missed a start at the end of April with a stiff elbow. He returned to the rotation May 3 and made two starts before the abbreviated outing against the White Sox.
Duffy, 23, was 2-2 with a 3.90 ERA in six starts this season, striking out 28 and walking 18 in 27 2/3 innings.
If Duffy has the Tommy John procedure, he would be the second Royals pitcher to undergo that operation this year. Closer Joakim Soria had Tommy John surgery in early April.
The Royals will have to find a rotation replacement for Friday's game against the Diamondbacks, Duffy's scheduled start. Possibilities include right-handers Luis Mendoza and Nate Adcock, as well as left-hander Everett Teaford, who is starting for Class AAA Omaha.