The Los Angeles Angels were hoping beyond all hope that Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney, both of whom sustained UCL tears in their pitching elbows would be able to avoid Tommy John surgery by using stem-cell injections, that would hopefully heal their UCL.
Unfortunately for the Los Angeles Angels they got the sad news that Heaney’s elbow was not responding to the stem-cell treatment and therefore he will have to undergo the dreaded Tommy John surgery that will sideline the 25-year old for approximately 18 months.
In a statement issued this afternoon by the Los Angeles Angels, the team stated the following
“Based on the lack of progressive UCL healing in Andrew’s case, coupled with discomfort upon testing the ligament while throwing, we have concluded that Tommy John surgery is the necessary course of action.”
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Richards results from stem-cell treatment, on the other hand were more promising, and the hope is that he could still avoid the same fate as Heaney. Richards will be re-evaluated toward the end of July or early August to see if they will continue with the same course of action. So now the Angels and Richards just sit and wait.
Richards, who already missed two months in the end of the 2014 season due to a patella tendon tear in his right knee while covering first base in Boston, is hoping that this treatment will allow him to come back late this season or at least by the beginning of the 2017 season.
Richards pitched six starts for the Angels this season with a 1-3 record and a 2.34 ERA and a 1.327 WHIP. He came out of his last start on May 1st against the Texas Rangers where he only last four innings. it was said at first that he was suffering from exhaustion and dehydration, but was later revealed that he had the a torn UCL in his right elbow.
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Heaney only pitched in one game this season which was the second game of the season against the Chicago Cubs pitching six innings giving up seven hits and four runs in a 6-1 loss. Heaney was said to have no tear, but had a strained flexor muscle. However, now he will need Tommy John surgery.
In one bit of good news catcher Geovany Soto, who has been on the DL since May 18th with a torn meniscus in his right knee, will began a minor league rehab assignment for the Triple-A Salt Lake City Bees tonight. Hopefully he will be able to get back to the team by after the All-Star break at the latest. Soto was batting .283 with three home runs and seven RBI’s.
So we will just have to wait and see what happens in regards to Richards and also Soto over the next few weeks. God Speed gentlemen we are rooting for you!