BOSTON -- Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova will seek a second opinion on the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament he suffered Saturday while pitching against the Rays before deciding whether to have Tommy John surgery, the team announced on Wednesday.
Nova underwent an MRI in Tampa on Saturday night which revealed the tear, and had a second MRI in New York. He was then examined by Yankees team doctor Christopher Ahmad, who recommended Nova undergo surgery.
Under baseball's collective bargaining agreement, players have the right to seek a second medical opinion from an outside physician. According to a Yankees spokesman, Nova will have his MRI results sent to Dr. James Andrews, a specialist in Tommy John surgery.
"I would always encourage second opinions when you're facing a surgical procedure," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "In fairness, I'll let Andrews weigh in. But we did announce our team physician's recommendation is obviously surgery."
Nova suffered the injury while delivering a curveball to Evan Longoria, the third batter he faced in the fifth inning. He said felt a pop in his elbow and Yankees bench coach Tony Pena noticed him shaking out his arm after the pitch. He was immediately removed from the game.
Nova had allowed six runs, including four home runs, at that point in the game and was charged with eight earned runs in four-plus innings. He said the injury was not the reason for his poor performance. He has been replaced in the Yankees rotation by left-hander Vidal Nuno.