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Sports

March 21, 2014

Beachy headed for 2nd Tommy John surgery

Northwestern product sought 2nd opinion in L.A.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Atlanta Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy will have ligament-replacement surgery in his right elbow for the second time Friday and is expected to miss the entire season.

The Braves said Thursday that Los Angeles Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache will operate in Los Angeles. Beachy’s ulnar collateral ligament was reconstructed by Dr. James Andrews on June 21, 2012, and Beachy returned to go 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 30 innings over five starts from July 29 to Aug. 20 last summer.

He finished the season on the disabled list because of elbow inflammation and left his third spring training start after two innings on March 10 complaining of soreness in his elbow and biceps.

Beachy was examined Monday by Andrews, who recommended surgery, and the 27-year-old sought a second opinion.

“It was confirmed by both doctors that he needed it, so he chose to have the surgery out there,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “The way I look at it, this is his career. He’s got to feel confident and comfortable with how this is going to play out. If he has a better comfort level with one doctor versus another, that’s OK. That’s all part of the healing process going forward is that confidence. If that’s how he feels, that’s OK.”

Braves pitcher Kris Medlen had a right elbow ligament replaced by Andrews for the second time Tuesday.

With Oakland pitcher Jarrod Parker also needing a second elbow ligament-replacement operation, New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson suggested Thursday that Major League Baseball study how to prevent reoccurrances.

“We and the rest of baseball need to do more research into exactly what happens between the first surgery and the second injury, because obviously it’s devastating when it happens,” Alderson said. “All of baseball is suffering from this — I don’t want to call it an epidemic — certainly it’s something that bears more research.”

New York obviously is interested, given that ace Matt Harvey had similar surgery in October.

“Compare mechanics before and after each — before the surgery, after the first surgery,” Alderson said. “In a lot of cases, mechanics do change over time, either voluntarily or involuntarily. That’s one aspect of information we need to start gathering.”

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