Sano elbow ligament replacement surgery is a success

  • Updated: March 13, 2014 - 9:35 AM

Twins prospect Miguel Sano pointed to his right elbow while talking with coach Paul Molitor in the dugout during the intrasquad scrimmage on Thursday, February 27.

– Twins third base prospect Miguel Sano is resting after undergoing Tommy John elbow ligament surgery Wednesday afternoon in New York — but one interesting detail has emerged.

According to a person with knowledge of the injury, Sano completely tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow when he attempted to throw out Kurt Suzuki at first during an intrasquad game on Feb. 27. It doesn’t change his rehabilitation schedule; he has 13 months to rehabilitate before the 2015 season, and recovery from Tommy John surgery typically is quicker for position players than it is for pitchers.

The Twins recommended he try rehab back in October — which was also the recommendation of noted specialist Dr. James Andrews when a second opinion was sought. At the time, the ligament was only partly torn, and surgery done at that point probably would have allowed Sano to return before the end of the 2014 season.

But when a renowned surgeon such as Andrews recommends rehab, it’s difficult to second-guess the decision made last fall. Sano rehabbed throughout the offseason and passed all the checkups before being cleared to open camp with the other players.

Sano’s surgery was performed by Dr. David Altchek, the Mets’ medical director. Sano, 20, will return to Fort Myers late Friday afternoon, and he is expected to begin rehab shortly thereafter.

La Velle E. Neal III

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