Shohei Ohtani undergoes UCL procedure, won't pitch until 2025

Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels
Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels / John McCoy/GettyImages

We knew something was coming after Ohtani had torn his UCL after his shortened start on August 23, but we didn't know when or what would happen. The Los Angeles Angels superstar had been awfully discreet about the status of his elbow injury but has finally undergone a procedure to repair the torn ligament.

Ohtani's agent released a statement saying that the plan for Shohei is to be ready to hit on Opening Day and pitch in 2025. Setbacks obviously happen, but it's foolish to count Ohtani out of accomplishing anything he sets his mind to with the player he's become.

Ohtani's agent said Ohtani underwent a procedure, but didn't get into specifics. Jeff Fletcher of the OCR said that this wasn't traditional Tommy John Surgery and it looks like it was a procedure that had 2024 in mind. Ohtani likely would not have been ready for Opening Day had he undergone Tommy John Surgery, but the ligament was repaired, not reconstructed.

Shohei Ohtani undergoes elbow procedure. Will hit in 2024, pitch in 2025

What this does to Ohtani's free agent value remains to be seen. He's still expected to get record-breaking money if he wants a lengthy deal, but Ohtani not being able to pitch in 2024 would presumably impact his value at least a little bit.

On his own instagram account, Ohtani voiced his frustration that he was unable to finish the season with the Angels but that the procedure went well and he looks forward to returning back an even better player. Would be a scary sight if Shohei somehow came out of this a better player.

Shohei is the heavy favorite for his second MVP award in the last three seasons, and had one of, if not the best regular season ever even with him missing nearly a full month to end it.