Kris Medlen to get second opinion
Atlanta Braves right-hander Kris Medlen had an MRI exam on Monday that revealed an "injury to the ligament" in his pitching elbow, according to general manager Frank Wren, and the team said the pitcher will seek a second opinion.
According to The Associated Press, Medlen is expected to meet this week with Dr. James Andrews, who performed Tommy John surgery on the pitcher in 2010.
On Wednesday, Medlen seemed resigned to the fact he would need a second surgery.
"Mentally preparing myself," Medlen told reporters, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It's something that I've felt before. I think I had all the answers to anybody's questions in my head when I was walking off the mound. I never do that.
"When I did it before, in 2010, the same thing kind of happened."
Medlen, 28, had Tommy John surgery in 2010 and missed most of the 2011 season. He was 15-12 with a 3.11 ERA last year and was slated to be Atlanta's Opening Day starter.
The Braves tweeted their support Wednesday:
Medlen was injured during Sunday's game against the Mets, grabbing his elbow after throwing the first pitch to Matt Clark with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning. He quickly left the field with a trainer.
"His MRI showed injury to the ligament, but we don't yet know the extent," Wren said in a statement. "A diagnosis would be premature at this point. He will undergo further tests until we seek a second opinion. An MRI can sometimes be inconclusive when a player has had a previous Tommy John surgery."
On Tuesday, manager Fredi Gonzalez maintained optimism.
"I talked to him 30 seconds after he came inside, after I made the pitching change," Gonzalez said. "He wasn't in good spirits then. He was really, really worried. But after he got settled down and the trainers looked at him and Mets doctors looked at him, I think he was in better spirits. I did not talk to him after those conversations he had with the doctors and trainers, but our people told me that he was in little better spirits.
"Keep our fingers crossed. But I feel a lot better after talking to our medical people. We might be OK."
Fellow right-hander Brandon Beachy also left a start early, exiting a 8-1 win over the Phillies on Monday because of tightness around his pitching elbow. Beachy, 27, has been limited to 18 starts the past two seasons while battling elbow ailments. There is no plan for him to get an MRI.
Left-hander Mike Minor, who underwent urinary tract surgery Dec. 31, is struggling with shoulder soreness. He hopes to pitch within the next week but could open the season on the disabled list.
Atlanta might have to start the season without all three, and Wren described the latest events as "worrisome."
Julio Teheran hasn't allowed a run all spring training after pitching four shutout innings against Philadelphia on Tuesday and is likely to be joined in the rotation by Alex Wood, who pitches Wednesday against Washington in a split-squad game. Rookie David Hale was impressive during a call-up to the Braves in September but has struggled a bit this spring.
ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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