Ivan Nova went to visit Yankees team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad on Monday afternoon for a second opinion, following a diagnosis of Nova partially tearing his ulnar collateral ligament. The results came in and unfortunately we won’t see Nova in the next 12-18 months.
Following the re-evaluation, Dr. Ahmad recommended Tommy John Surgery to the 27-year old right hander, meaning now it’s about when he’ll go under the knife. Nova partially tore his UCL in the fifth inning of Saturday’s 16-1 loss against the Tampa Bay Rays. More information will be added to this post as I’m sure Joe Girardi will be asked about the situation.
Manager Joe Girardi spoke to the media just after 5 p.m. about the diagnosis of Nova’s partial UCL tear and the recommendation for Tommy John Surgery, and he admits he had a hunch the situation was heading that way.
“Obviously we had an inkling that was going to be the recommendation,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s unfortunate and obviously he has to make a decision now. It’s what you don’t want to hear.”
It wasn’t the most convenient time for Nova to need Tommy John Surgery; he becomes a free agent in 2016 and he’ll spend most of his arbitration years on the disabled list, rehabbing to make a comeback.
“We had high hopes for him because of what he did at the end of last year,” Girardi said. “His spring training was very, very good. We had big expectations for him. This is a blow to our rotation, but no one is going to feel sorry for you. As a ballclub, we have to figure it out.”
— Vidal Nuno will get another start in Ivan Nova’s vacant spot and Girardi kind of but didn’t really confirm that Nuno would be the fifth starter going forward. The move leaves David Phelps in the pen, who was also an option for the job.
—Ichiro Suzuki is in the lineup for the Yankees instead of Brett Gardner. It’s mainly because Ichiro has better numbers off Jon Lester than Gardner does. Gardner’s available off the bench if the Yankees need him.