AP Photo/Ryan Sun
Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani underwent successful elbow surgery on Tuesday at the Kerlan & Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles, his agent said in a statement.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who performed the surgery, added that he expects Ohtani to be fully recovered and ready to hit without restrictions by 2024 Opening Day. He added that Ohtani should return to both hitting and pitching by 2025.
“Shohei wanted to make sure the direction taken gave him every opportunity to hit and pitch for many years to come,” Ohtani’s agent said.
Ohtani also announced that he underwent a procedure on his elbow via Instagram, writing:
“I had a procedure done on my elbow earlier this morning and everything went very well. Thank you very much for everyone’s prayers and kind words.
“It was very unfortunate that I couldn’t finish out the year on the field, but I will be rooting on the boys until the end.
“I will work as hard as I can and do my best to come back on the diamond stronger than ever.
Ohtani was ruled out for the remainder of the season earlier this month after an MRI revealed irritation to his right oblique. He was previously shut down from pitching in August with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and had continued to bat despite the ailment.
The 29-year-old was firmly in the American League MVP conversation prior to being placed on the injured list and he could very well win the award for the second time in the last three seasons.
In 135 games, Ohtani was slashing .304/.412/.654 with 44 home runs, 95 RBI and 20 stolen bases. He also pitched 23 games, posting a 10-5 record with a 3.14 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings.
After being included in trade rumors this season, Ohtani will become a free agent this winter and he’s expected to become the highest-paid player in baseball. It’s unclear how much his surgery will impact his value, if at all.
Prior to the injuries and surgery, Ohtani’s value was estimated to be around at least $500 million with several players, including Kansas City Royals star Salvador Perez, suggesting he could land a deal worth $600 million.
Everyone from the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets to the Los Angeles Dodgers has been linked to Ohtani this year, and only time will tell where he will spend the next portion of his legendary career.