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Joel Hanrahan visits Dr. Andrews

5/10/2013 - MLB Joel Hanrahan Boston Red Sox + more

BOSTON -- Red Sox pitcher Joel Hanrahan was en route to Boston after being examined Friday morning by Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedist he saw for a second opinion regarding the flexor pronator strain in his right elbow.

Another MRI on the elbow was administered Friday, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell.

Farrell said he spoke with Hanrahan on Friday, but the pitcher had yet to give any definitive word on whether he intends to proceed with surgery, a season-ending procedure, according to the manager.

"What's been pretty conclusive or in agreement with other examinations is that he's got some damage to the flexor muscle tendon, so he's en route to Boston as we speak,'' Farrell said. "I know that he'll revisit with the training staff and medical staff here.

"At some point, there's got to be a decision as to which course he's going to take to rectify the situation.''

According to Farrell, tests have indicated the ulnar collateral ligament in Hanrahan's elbow is not involved in the injury, although the manager left open the possibility that further examination could result in electing to repair the ligament as well, requiring Tommy John surgery.

"Everything that shows right now is it's the flexor tendon,'' Farrell said. "If, in fact, that course is chosen to surgically repair the tendon, they would have the opportunity to fully examine the ligament at that time.''

That is what happened last year with former Minnesota Twins pitcher Scott Baker. He originally was diagnosed with a flexor pronator strain, with doctors saying the UCL was OK, but days later, he underwent the Tommy John procedure.

Former Red Sox pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka and right-hander John Lackey were diagnosed with forearm strains in the same month in 2011, both going on the DL that May.

Lackey was diagnosed with a flexor strain, missed 21 games, then tried to pitch through the pain with horrific results. He elected to have Tommy John surgery after the season. Matsuzaka chose to have the procedure done that June.

Other pitchers on the Red Sox staff who have undergone the procedure are Ryan Dempster (2003) and Junichi Tazawa ('10).

"Not fun,'' Lackey said Thursday night when asked his thoughts about what Hanrahan is going through. "He's deciding what he's going to do. It's a long process, but he's young enough. He'll be all right. He'll work through it and come back strong.''

Before leaving to see Andrews, Hanrahan sounded resigned to the likelihood that he would need surgery.

"Doesn't look good," he said. "Leave it up to the experts, see what they say, let them put their heads together and go from there.

"If it is bad, I'm still 31, my personal setup will be all right. On the [bad] side, I've been here and I haven't been able to do anything I want to, to show anybody who I really am. So that part will stink if something bad happens."

The Red Sox acquired Hanrahan in a trade from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Dec. 26 and signed him to a one-year, $7.04 million deal. Hanrahan is eligible for free agency after the season, so it's conceivable that if surgery is required, he might have thrown his last pitch for Boston.