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Ryan O’Rourke needs Tommy John surgery

The left-hander traveled to Texas for a second opinion on his mysterious elbow injury, and it turns out he has a partially torn UCL.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Minnesota Twins
At least he won’t have to vomit as much while not pitching...
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Remember yesterday, when the Twins moved Ryan O’Rourke to the 60-day DL to make space on the 40-man roster for Nick Tepesch? And I mentioned how O’Rourke’s arm still hurt and he was going to Texas to ask the Rangers’ team doctor for a second opinion? Then I joked that O’Rourke would probably find out he needs Tommy John surgery?

Uh, well... O’Rourke got his second opinion Dr. Keith Meister, and that opinion is that O’Rouke has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament and needs Tommy John surgery.

Or maybe one of the new-fangled Tommy John alternatives, at least. According to Mike Berardino, O’Rourke had already been researching new procedures and is considering getting one.

In any case, however, O’Rourke will miss the rest of the season.

Now, before you wig out about the Twins medical staff failing to diagnosis an injury immediately, take a deep breath. Okay? Good. Now these UCL injuries are not super easy to find, and doctors don’t all come to the same conclusions based on MRIs and other tests (hence the fact it’s called a second “opinion”). It sounds like O’Rourke’s injury was a partial tear, not a full tear, which probably makes diagnosis even harder. It doesn’t seem like the Twins’ doctors did anything so egregious here it would be considered malpractice, though even I am starting to wonder...

Additionally, even Dr. Meister himself is adamant about trying rest and rehab to heal most UCL injuries, and that’s more or less what O’Rourke and the Twins had been trying to do. There’s even a video of Dr. Meister talking about this on YouTube:

At lest this saves the Twins from having to make another difficult 40-man roster decision, right?