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Joel Hanrahan undergoes Tommy John surgery

May 16, 2013, 8:08 PM EST

Joel Hanrahan Getty Getty Images

We already knew that Joel Hanrahan was having season-ending surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his right forearm, but doctors didn’t rule out the possibility that he would also require Tommy John surgery. Well, the worst-case scenario played out today.

Hanrahan’s agent, Mike Dillon, confirmed that his client had Tommy John surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He also had a bone spur removed. It usually takes pitchers at least one year to make it back from Tommy John surgery, so he figures to miss the early part of the 2014 season.

The Red Sox acquired Hanrahan from the Pirates during the offseason to serve as their closer, but he only made nine appearances with the club. The 31-year-old is due to become a free agent this winter and will likely have to settle for an incentive-laden contract.

  1. proudlycanadian - May 16, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    Very unfortunate news. As I have written before, I do not wish Tommy John surgery on anyone.

    • flamethrower101 - May 16, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      I think it was said in an earlier post that flexor surgery AND TJ would pretty much cost him the first half of 2014. And even if I’m mistaken I would be surprised to see him return earlier than that, if at all. Free agent after this season; Brian Wilson’s waiting until he’s fully healthy from his TJ surgery to entertain offers, can’t imagine Joel getting a team until deep into the first half of next season.

  2. modellforprez - May 16, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Good Luck Hammer. hey dead sox GM you got any other Mark Melancons laying around up there Neally Deals said “Hit me up”

    • andrewproughcfe - May 17, 2013 at 7:57 AM

      Dear Boston,

      Nice doing business with you.

      Now, let’s talk about that Brandon Inge for Dustin Pedroia trade, eh?

      Sincerely,
      Pirate Nation

  3. hushbrother - May 16, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Brian Wilson, Ryan Madsen, and now Hanrahan. I thought saving closers for just the ninth inning was supposed to prevent them from injuring their arms.

    • tuberippin - May 16, 2013 at 9:22 PM

      Not if you’re throwing at 100% intensity all the time, every game. The strain on the ligaments, tendons and joints of the arm is too much for it to retain structural integrity for a long period of time, especially for pitchers that are throwing secondary pitches like sliders.

  4. tfbuckfutter - May 16, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    6 TJ surgeries for the Sox in 2 years.

    Nobody notices though. Everyone there is doing a bang up job.

    • hammyofdoom - May 17, 2013 at 12:31 AM

      Yeah… cause the combined what… 2 years and 2 months that Hanrahan and Lackey had with the Red Sox is what made them need Tommy John

  5. hushbrother - May 16, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    I forgot to mention also Neftali Feliz, Jason Motte, Joe Nathan, Jonny Venters, and probably at least a dozen others I can’t think of.

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