Tokyo Yakult Swallows right-hander Shohei Tateyama has undergone season-ending ligament reconstruction surgery on his right elbow, Swallows manager Junji Ogawa said Friday.
For Tateyama, 33, the situation with his elbow appears to be getting progressively worse as it was his third time having the procedure performed after the ligament snapped again. He will require at least one year before he can make a comeback.
“The result was the worst,” said Ogawa. “Now there is nothing for him to do but work on getting it (his elbow) healthy.”
During spring training in February, Tateyama, who had season-ending reconstructive surgery on the elbow last year and had the same procedure performed in March 2004, complained of discomfort. He threw just one pitch in an Eastern League game last Saturday.
Tateyama was scheduled to have surgery to remove tissue around the synovial membrane in the elbow at a hospital in Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture, on Thursday, which would have sidelined him for the first half of the season.
But aside from the ligament reconstruction another procedure to stitch his flexor muscle tendon had to be done.
The former Swallows ace, who tied for the most wins in the Central League in 2009, pitched Opening Day last season, but a snapped ligament was discovered in the elbow after his second start.