Surgery successful for Nathan, rehab beginsMinnesota Sports
- Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan underwent successful Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Friday.
NEW YORK (The Sports Network) - Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan underwent successful Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Friday.
According to the team's website, Mets physician Dr. David Altchek performed the surgery in New York. Altchek used a tendon from the pitcher's left wrist to rebuild his elbow, replacing the torn ulnar collateral ligament.
Nathan will now miss the entire 2010 season, but could be ready for the start of 2011, as recovery from the procedure is usually 12 months.
The injury was discovered after Nathan left a spring training game on March 6 after facing just one batter because of tightness in the elbow. He went back to Minnesota for tests, which revealed a "significant" tear in the ligament.
The 35-year-old opted for rest and rehab before deciding on surgery.
Nathan had a franchise-record 47-save season in 2009, when he posted a 2.10 earned run average in 70 appearances. He also fanned 89 and walked 22 in 68 2/3 innings, then had to have bone spurs and loose bodies removed from his right elbow following the playoffs.
Over his 10-year career, Nathan has compiled 247 saves to go with a 2.75 ERA in 533 games -- 29 starts.