The New York Yankee’s young star pitcher Ivan Nova will learn his fate on Monday after an MRI scan revealed a slight UCL tear in his right elbow which meant he was pulled out midway through his side’s 16-1 hammering by Tampa Bay.
After Nova, 27, released his 82nd pitch midway through the fifth innings he showed clear discomfort which forced manager Joe Girardi to take his pitcher out of the game.
Nova will now have further scans and will be assessed by team doctor Christopher Ahmed and it is feared he may need Tommy John surgery. If surgery is required the pitcher will be ruled out for the rest of the season.
New York Yankees put Nova on the 15 day disabled list last night and are figuring out who will need to come in to replace the 27-year-old. The decision will largely shaped by the medical results.
Speaking to MLB.com, Nova admitted his concern. He said: “It’s hard, I don’t even know what to tell you guys. I’m so sad right now that I’m not pitching. It hurts but God is real big and I know that he’s not going to forget me.
“I have to keep working hard and try to get back as soon as possible.”
If Nova’s worst fears are confirmed, he will be out for the rest of the 2014 season and could possibly miss the opening months of next season.
The Dominican starlet was having a poor game before he was substituted, conceding a career-high four home runs.
After Nova was taken off, manager Girardi said: “It’s really unfortunate. It’s a guy that, obviously, we were counting on pretty heavily this year. He’ll be re-evaluated by Dr Ahmad tomorrow [Monday] and I guess you go from there to see what the next step is.”
Nova made his debut for the Yankees in 2010 and has been used as a number three pitcher behind CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda. The 27-year-old has conceded 19 runs whist pitching this season at 8.47 ERA.
Nova recognised his struggle this season and explained to MLB.com: “Having a bad start makes me feel terrible because I want to pitch good.
“But having an injury like this one I have now, that is devastating. Not because of me but because of my family and friends. It hurts. I know a lot of people feel bad because of this.”
Despite their heavy loss against the Rays, the Yankees remain at 10-8 and travel to Boston for a three game series.
But they may have to fight on without their young pitcher who could become the 14th player to require Tommy John surgery in the MLB this season.
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