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#pounditThursday, May 23, 2024

Shohei Ohtani to miss a year as pitcher after undergoing elbow surgery

Shohei Ohtani in a red Angels uniform

Aug 8, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) watches from the dugout in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani is expected to miss the 2024 season as a pitcher after undergoing elbow surgery on Tuesday, but he is expected to be ready to hit all season.

Ohtani’s agent Nez Balelo sent out a statement on Tuesday regarding the Los Angeles Angels star’s surgery, which was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

“Shohei had his procedure this morning at Kerlan & Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles. The final decision and type of procedure was made with a heavy emphasis on the big picture. Shohei wanted to make sure the direction taken gave him every opportunity to hit and pitch for many years to come,” Dr. ElAttrache said.

“The ultimate plan after deliberation with Shohei, was to repair the issue at hand and to reinforce the healthy ligament in place while adding viable tissue for the longevity of the elbow. I expect full recovery and he’ll be ready to hit without any restrictions come opening day of 2024 and do both (Hit & Pitch) come 2025.

“Shohei is resting and in good spirits and excited to be on the road to recovery.”

Ohtani is set to be a free agent after the season. Any team that signs him to a long-term deal will be signing him knowing they will only get him as a batter in 2024. But he will plan to return to two-way duty in 2025.

Ultimately, now that he’s undergone the surgery, Ohtani’s free agency should not be negatively affected. He will have plenty of time to be ready for Opening Day 2024, wherever he is playing. This was also his second operation since 2018 for his ulnar collateral ligament.

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