ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – Los Angeles Angels rookie Shohei Ohtani will be re-evaluated within three weeks and medical staff are “very optimistic” about his recovery, club manager Mike Scioscia said Monday.
Ohtani was placed on the disabled list on June 8 with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The injury was discovered following a June 6 game against the Kansas City Royals, when he exited the mound after four innings with a blister.
At the time, Angels general manager Billy Eppler said that Tommy John surgery was not being considered and that the club would re-evaluate Ohtani’s situation in three to four weeks, though that time frame has now been pushed back.
“We’re not quite there yet,” Scioscia said. “But I think within the two- or three-week range from now, when he’s evaluated, we’ll certainly have an idea of what you can add to his workload, what he’s able to do.”
Since undergoing rehab, Ohtani has received injections of platelet-rich plasma and stem cells in order to regenerate tissue. Scioscia said the 23-year-old has been “doing as much as he can without impacting his elbow,” including simulating swings and strength training.
“Initially, he was obviously very disappointed (by the injury). I think that as he’s gone through this first week of therapy, he’s come to grips with it and understands exactly what the process will be,” Scioscia said.
However, the Angels manager did not speculate about whether Ohtani, a right-handed pitcher and left-handed batter, would continue as a designated hitter if his mound visits remain delayed.
“(When) we talk about Shohei, it’s really two different players,” Scioscia said. “And one does not necessarily impact the other unless he was doing both at the same time, like when he’s pitching and he needed days off to recover and then he could hit.”
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