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Orioles Closer Félix Bautista Has Second Elbow Surgery

Baltimore Orioles closer Félix Bautista, who had Tommy John surgery in September, underwent a second elbow surgery on Friday. According to the Orioles, the additional surgery was done to support the All-Star’s recovery from Tommy John surgery and is not expected to impact his return timeline.



Félix Bautista had a right elbow debridement and an ulnar nerve transposition in Dallas on Friday by Dr. Keith Meister. The surgery cleaned up scar tissue in his right elbow and moved the ulnar nerve so it would not be compressed. This procedure is not uncommon for patients recovering from Tommy John surgery. Bautista suffered a season-ending injury to his ulnar collateral ligament in August and underwent Tommy John surgery the following month. 

The UCL is a ligament inside the elbow that helps secure the elbow joint. Tears of the ulnar collateral ligament are common in throwing athletes and can be caused by overuse or sudden, acute injuries. Patients suffering a UCL tear often undergo UCL reconstruction surgery, otherwise known as Tommy John surgery. This procedure replaces the torn ligament and reconstructs the UCL. According to the Orioles, Bautista’s reconstructed right ulnar collateral ligament is healing well.

Bautista was 8-2 with a 1.48 ERA and 33 saves before his season-ending elbow injury. Despite the injury, Félix Bautista was named American League Reliever of the Year for 2023.

Bautista is already out for the 2024 season as he recovers from surgery but is expected to return in 2025. The typical recovery for Tommy John surgery can be anywhere from 12-18 months.

Main Photo Credits: Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)


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