Baseball fans were disheartened to learn that Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish would be out for the entire 2015 season because of elbow surgery. The right-hander could still have a promising Major League career, but like other Japanese pitchers who have crossed the Pacific, he seems cursed by infirmities that affect his ability to throw.

Three compatriots currently active in the U.S. have had to undergo the same type of surgery, and that number doesn’t include Daisuke Matsuzaka, who had the operation but is now back in Japan. The latest pitching star to debut in the States, Masahiro Tanaka, may succumb to an identical fate, since he missed the latter half of his rookie season due to elbow problems.

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