New Los Angeles Angels acquisition Shohei Ohtani has a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow according to a medical report dated Nov. 28, Yahoo Sports reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, a physical performed by Dr. Masamitsu Tsuchiya at Doai Kinen Hospital in Tokyo and obtained by Yahoo Sports revealed the 23-year-old pitcher and hitter who signed with the Angels on Saturday has a first-degree sprain of his right UCL.

“While a first-degree sprain is the least severe of UCL injuries, further damage could lead to Tommy John surgery,” it said.

Yahoo Sports said the Angels apparently knew about the elbow issue before they signed him, and general manager Billy Eppler was not concerned about the player’s condition.

“Shohei underwent a thorough physical with MRI scans to both his elbow and his shoulder,” Eppler was quoted as saying.

“Those are scans we conduct whenever we sign a pitcher. Based on the readings of those MRIs, there are no signs of acute trauma in the elbow. It looks consistent with players his age. We are pleased with the results of the physical and we are very happy to have the player.”

The document, which was distributed to teams after Ohtani was posted and made available to all major league clubs, also said the player received a PRP injection for pain in the elbow on Oct. 20 and that a “small free body” floats in his elbow near his UCL.

Ohtani, who is recovering from the right ankle surgery he underwent in October, flew back to Japan on Tuesday after he was introduced by the Angels in a press conference at Anaheim Stadium. He was seen running and playing catch at the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters’ facility in Kamagaya, Chiba Prefecture the day he arrived.

The Fighters, with whom Ohtani spent the first five seasons of his professional career, will receive a $20 million posting fee from the Angels for Ohtani’s negotiating rights.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.