Seattle Mariners closer David Aardsma's long comeback from December hip surgery has taken a nasty turn - a grade two sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament that may require 'Tommy John'-like elbow surgery.
Aardsma, 29, will have a second opinion Thursday in Los Angeles, but if the diagnosis stands, there are two options: rehab or surgery.
Aardsma was, in essence, days away from being activated when he felt tightness in his right forearm while throwing in Tacoma. When he returned to Seattle and couldn't play catch without the tightness returning, Aardsma was sent for an MRI on Saturday.
Team Dr. Edward Khalfayan made the initial diagnosis and, because of the seriousness of it, Aardsma will see Dr. Lew Yocum later this week.
This much is cerain - Aardsma won't be pitching any time soon. If he and the team choose to try rehab, it will be weeks before he can seriously test the elbow. If it's surgery, he'll miss at least 10 months of pitching.