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Casey Kelly injury: Padres right-hander headed for Tommy John

Kelly is still waiting on a second opinion, but the young Padres starter is pretty resigned to his fate.

Thearon W. Henderson

We learned yesterday that Padres right-hander Casey Kelly was experiencing elbow discomfort and had undergone some tests, but there was still a sliver of hope that the young right-hander would avoid the worst-case scenario. Now, however, as test results have revealed "micro tears" in his ulnar collateral ligament, it appears that the destroyer of elbows -- Tommy John -- has claimed another victim.

Kelly is still awaiting a second opinion on his ailing arm, but the youngster seems pretty resigned to the fact that his 2013 season is over before it began, per Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune:

"I’ve prepared myself for the worst," said Kelly at an impromptu press conference in a hallway of the Padres spring training complex.

"I don’t have too many options. The doctors are concerned with what they saw."

For those keeping score at home, if his second opinion doesn't provide alternatives, Kelly will be the third MLBer to be sent for Tommy John surgery this week, joining A's right-hander Fernando Rodriguez and Indians reliever Frank Herrmann.

There's still a chance that the doctor will recommend rehab over the operation, but Kelly already went down that road last year with limited success. The right-hander missed four months last season rehabbing a strained elbow rather than going under the knife. He was able to pitch the last few months of 2012 without much trouble, but given that his elbow issues still linger, it seems that another go at rehab may be futile.

Kelly will see Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles for his second opinion. If he does undergo the operation, he will be the fourth Padres pitcher to undergo the operation in the last year, joining Cory Luebke, Joe Wieland, and Juan Pablo Oramas on the road to recovery. Fellow top prospect Rymer Liriano -- a right fielder -- also underwent TJ surgery three weeks ago.