When word broke yesterday that the Dodgers were sending Zack Greinke to Los Angeles to have his elbow examined, you can bet that Ned Colletti and company all had the worst-case scenario on their mind. So far as pitchers are concerned these days, it seems that any sort of elbow issue always eventually evolves into Tommy John surgery.
So, then, that huge sigh of relief you may have heard emanating from Hollywood and Glendale last night was likely the news that Greinke's discomfort is not anything serious, but rather some inflammation in the back of his elbow, the team announced.
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Greinke's MRI exam revealed that the right-hander has no structural damage -- meaning his UCL is intact. He was given a platelet-rich plasma injection and some anti-inflammatory meds to reduce the swelling, and was ordered to rest for two to three days. The team expects Greinke to return to a progressive throwing program at the end of the week when/if the inflammation subsides.
Greinke, 29, has been a beacon of physical health through his first nine big-league seasons, his only DL stint for a physical malady coming at the start of 2011 when he fractured his rib playing basketball with some friends. Dodgers fans can take some solace in the fact that the right-hander has never had a serious arm injury to this point, missing just four games to shoulder inflammation in 2010.
The Dodgers signed Greinke to a six-year, $147 million contract in January.