It's been a rough few days for Mariners reliever Shawn Kelley, who appears likely headed for surgery on his ailing right elbow.
Manager Don Wakamatsu said surgery is probably an inevitable.
"I think he’s going to have to have surgery no matter what," Wakamatsu said. "It's just a matter of when they go in there and what they find. It could be a year, or he could be ready for spring training."
Kelley wouldn't resign himself completely to surgery.
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"It’s not for sure that’s the route we’re going to go," he said. "But that’s a possibility. It’s a decision I’ll have to make. I’ve got one more test tomorrow and we’ll see how that goes."
"They’re going to do a stress X-ray, where they will push on my elbow and see if the joint’s (stable)," Kelley said. "That will tell if the ligament has been stretched out. If it is, then that would be enough cause to need Tommy John anyway."
It's likely that Kelley will need to at least have the elbow scoped to see if there is damage to the ulnar collateral ligament.
While a second Tommy John surgery won't be fun, it won't be a career ender.
Wakamatsu said he read an article given to him by trainer Rick Griffin about Tommy John surgery and a timeline with them. Kelley had his first surgery seven years ago and has been throwing ever since.
Kelley just wants to have a diagnosis finalized.
"I just can’t go all offseason wondering if it’s OK and come to spring training not being 100 percent," he said. "I might feel good coming to spring and then try to get it going and then I’m right back to where I am right now."