One of the Detroit Tigers' top prospects (especially judging from his $750,000 signing bonus) got some bad news over the holiday weekend. Pitcher Casey Crosby has a torn ligament in his left elbow that will likely require Tommy John surgery. Team doctors recommended the procedure after reviewing the results of a MRI exam on the injured elbow, and Crosby is scheduled to meet with Dr. James Andrews in Alabama today to determine whether or not the surgery will be necessary.
Crosby, the Tigers' fifth-round draft pick this year, began feeling discomfort in his shortly after reporting for Instructional League play in October.
As scary as it might seem for a young pitcher to have such a procedure so early in his career, it's worth noting that plenty of pitchers have fully recovered after having Tommy John surgery. Some of them, such as John Smoltz and Mariano Rivera, have gone on to excel afterwards. Compared to when the surgery was first performed in the 1970s, the recovery rate is generally very promising. Pitchers can usually begin weight exercises after two months, and can start throwing in approximately six months.