Jonathan Broxton to have elbow surgery
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Jonathan Broxton, the embattled former All-Star closer who hasn't pitched since May 3 because of a bone bruise in his right elbow, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on Monday to remove a bone spur and some chips.
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Meanwhile, outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. underwent an MRI on his left shoulder, which he has jammed repeatedly in recent days and did so again on a slide into home Wednesday night. He will be completely shut down for at least a couple of days.
Although Broxton's bone bruise had improved dramatically, Dodgers medical director Stan Conte said the spur and loose bodies were the cause of repeated setbacks Broxton suffered in his effort to return, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly saying earlier this week that club officials no longer expected Broxton to pitch this season.
Broxton underwent what Conte said were "three or four" MRIs on the elbow during the season, but Conte said the chips were revealed only after Broxton underwent a CT scan, which was ordered when he experienced mild discomfort earlier this week during his first bullpen session in several weeks.
"CT scans normally aren't done on elbows," Conte said. "But we just wanted to make sure the bone bruise wasn't turning into microfractures."
The surgery will be performed by team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache, after which Broxton is expected to need four to eight weeks to recover before he can begin throwing again. However, with free agency pending, it is possible Broxton has pitched his final game for the Dodgers, who already have replaced him in the closer's role with rookie Javy Guerra and might balk at re-signing Broxton this winter to a major league contract.
Gwynn originally hurt his shoulder on a headfirst slide into second base during last week's series in Washington, and although the injury wasn't severe at that time, he aggravated it on Wednesday night against Arizona. Conte said that as of Friday afternoon, ElAttrache hadn't yet examined Gwynn's MRI results.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
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