Thursday, May 16, 2013
© Copyright 2014
Gwinnett Daily Post
Jonny Venters hoped for the best, of course. So, obviously, did the Braves. But everyone knew that avoiding a second Tommy John elbow reconstruction was a long shot.
On Thursday, Venters didn't.
Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery in Gulf Breeze, Fla., to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament and Venters will miss the rest of the season and likely most of 2014.
In fact, Venterss' career is very much in jeopardy.
Coming back from Tommy John surgery and eventually pitching as well or better is now the norm. But recovering fully after a second operation is much more problematic.
Venters, 28, first had his elbow repaired by Andrews in the fall of 2005 and appeared in 230 games with the Braves from 2010-2012, posting a 2.23 ERA.
But the left-hander had to leave a spring training game in late March because of elbow discomfort and another surgery has loomed as the likelihood since.
After an MRI was inconclusive, Venters received a platelet-rich plasma injection from Andrews on April 2 and told to not pick up a ball for four weeks. But when he tried throwing from the mound last week during the Braves series in San Francisco, the pain was still there.
Venters was dominant in 2010 and 2011, posting ERA marks of 1.95 and 1.84 in 79 and 85 games, respectively. But he began to show the wear and tear last season as he spent time on the disabled list and saw his ERA jump to 3.22 in 66 games.