Kansas City Royals Jason Vargas Will Need Tommy John Surgery


Last night, when Jason Vargas threw his final pitch and immediately walked off the mound in pain, there was the sense that nothing good would come of this. After it was revealed that the pain was on the medial side of his elbow, the feeling turned quite a bit more ominous. Now, as the results of Vargas’ MRI have come back, the Kansas City Royals worst fears have been confirmed, as he tore his ulnar collateral ligament, and will likely be out of action until 2017.

In looking back at Vargas’ season, this news may not be much of a surprise anyway. He had missed time twice this season due to various elbow ailments, including a left flexor strain and a sore forearm. Both injuries are typically a precursor for problems with the UCL, yet Vargas’ elbow was considered structurally sound during examination.

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All told, prior to this latest injury for Jason Vargas, the Kansas City Royals starter missed a total of nine weeks this season due to his elbow issues. Even though none of these injuries specifically had anything to do with the ligament itself, there will be those who will second guess the Royals medical staff, wondering if Vargas was sent back out to the mound too soon and not given enough time to properly heal.

Hindsight, especially in these cases, is always 20-20. Should the Royals have given Vargas more time to rest his elbow before attempting to come back? Perhaps. Yet, this injury could have happened anyway. Had this happened after a longer period of rest, or during a rehab outing, the questions would still exist. The medical reports indicated that the ligament was healthy, and if Vargas was pain free, there was no reason to keep him from heading back to the mound.

Now, the Kansas City Royals, who needed help in their starting rotation as it was, have an even greater need with Jason Vargas on the disabled list. Only now, instead potentially adding one starter, the Royals may be looking for two.

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