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Bad news for Nathan, now what?

  • Blog Post by: Suzanne Solheim
  • March 9, 2010 - 3:43 PM

The Minnesota Twins received Joe Nathan's crappy MRI and CT results this morning, and for now, the All-Star closer is going to take a load off.

Just five months recovered from elbow surgery, Nathan exited Saturday's 9-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox with soreness in his pitching elbow, after striking out one and walking two batters.  Today he was diagnosed with "a significant tear" in his ulnar collateral ligament, which would need Tommy John surgery to be repaired.

Basically, it's totally mangled and Joe is hoping it gets better with rest.  At least, he's willing to give it a shot.

"Obviously, this wasn't the news I wanted to hear," he said. "It definitely came as a bit of a surprise. At the same time, I have to be patient right now. We'll see how it feels in a week or two."

Here is a video from ESPN discussing the extent of the injury and the Twins' next possible moves, along with footage of the pitch that may have pushed the ligament to its limit.

So who will shut the door for the Twins if Nathan's season is indeed over and he opts to have major surgery?  Matt Guerrier was terrific last season and Jon Rauch has 26 career saves under his belt.  Plus, he's pretty intimidating.  What about Pat Neshek?  At 35 years old, this injury could end Joe's career, considering the two seasons he'd need to fully recover... which bums me out.  Your thoughts?

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