Tommy John Surgery recommended for Detroit Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer

Surgery would end Fulmer's 2019 season

Michael Fulmer reacts after giving up a solo homer to Jurickson Profar of the Texas Rangers during a game against the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park on June 8, 2018, in Detroit. (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Detroit Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer may have to undergo Tommy John Surgery on his right elbow.

The Tigers said Tuesday that Fulmer, after a recent bullpen session, began to experience right elbow soreness.

"Based on the results of an MRI, and after receiving a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Tommy John Surgery has been recommended in order to reconstruct the UCL. Fulmer is seeking a third opinion at this time," the team said.

Tommy John Surgery, more formally known as ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction, is used to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament inside the elbow.

It may take overhead athletes more than a year or longer to return to their prior level of play after a UCL reconstruction.

Tommy John didn’t invent this procedure—he was a baseball pitcher who was the first to undergo it and successfully return to his sport.

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