There is no good news to be found for fans of Shohei Ohtani or the Los Angeles Angels. Ohtani has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a grade 2 strain of his right ulnar collateral ligament, which just happens to be found in his pitching elbow.
Ohtani left his start on Wednesday with a finger blister on his pitching hand, but this is clearly way beyond that. When the Angels announced Ohtani’s trip to the DL on Friday, they also gave more details on his current treatment plan.
Shohei Ohtani will be placed on the disabled list with a grade 2 sprain of the UCL. He underwent a PRP and Stem Cell injection yesterday with Dr. Steve Yoon in Los Angeles. He will be re-evaluated in 3 weeks and we will update his plan of care at that time.
— Angels PR (@LAAngelsPR) June 8, 2018
Back in December, after Ohtani had signed with the Angels, Yahoo Sports’ own Jeff Passan reported that Ohtani had a grade 1 UCL sprain, which the Angels were aware of. Ohtani had received a platelet-rich plasma injection in October to relieve the pain in his elbow, and a doctor in Tokyo had diagnosed him with the grade 1 sprain in late November.
A grade 2 sprain is more severe than a grade 1, which is why the treatment plan is a lot more cautious now. With the grade 1 sprain, the damage is minimal and was located deep within his UCL. That’s why he was able to resume a normal throwing program with rest and the PRP injection. But a grade 2 sprain is concerning, because it means the damage to his ligament has gotten worse, and could lead to Tommy John surgery, the three most fearful words a pitcher can hear.
On the mound, Ohtani has a 3.10 ERA and 61 strikeouts in nine starts this season. At the plate, he’s hit .289/.372/.535 with six home runs in 34 games.
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