Chad Billingsley has elbow surgery

Updated: April 25, 2013, 3:26 PM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley underwent Tommy John surgery Wednesday evening and is expected to be out for about a year, the team announced Thursday.

The procedure -- an injured elbow ligament is replaced with a tendon taken from elsewhere in the body -- was performed by team doctor Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles, and took about 90 minutes. Billingsley will begin physical therapy in the next seven to 10 days.

The right-hander had the option of undergoing elbow surgery last September but chose to rehabilitate the injury and received an injection of platelet-rich plasma at the time. He was on the disabled list because of elbow inflammation three times in the past year.

Billingsley was pain-free throughout spring training and got through two starts this season before the pain returned during an April 19 bullpen session. An MRI confirmed a partially torn ligament.

The 28-year-old Billingsley (1-0, 3.00 ERA this season) is 81-61 with a 3.65 ERA in 219 career appearances. The former All-Star is in the second year of a three-year, $35 million contract extension he signed in 2011.

The Dodgers broke camp with eight veteran starting pitchers, but are now down to four after injuries to Billingsley, Zack Greinke and Chris Capuano and the trade of Aaron Harang. The Dodgers have been using Stephen Fife as a replacement for Billingsley. Capuano, who has a strained left calf, is likely to come off the disabled list May 3.

The Dodgers also announced that reliever Shawn Tolleson will have surgery Thursday to repair a herniated disk in his lower back. Tolleson is expected to miss the next three to five months.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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