Hanrahan to have season-ending surgery

Hanrahan to have season-ending surgery
May 11, 2013, 11:15 am
Share This Post

BOSTON – Joel Hanrahan confirmed Saturday morning that he will undergo surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his right elbow. The surgery will end his season.
 
On Friday, Hanrahan was examined by Dr. James Andrews, who will perform the surgery some time next week.
 
“After talking with the doctors here, going down to see Andrews, he basically just confirmed what the doctors here thought – I’m going to have to get surgery to repair my flexor tendon,” Hanrahan said. “It’s something that after hearing the doctors here, it’s something I kind of prepared for. He just kind of re-affirmed those, so hopefully I’ll get it done next week and start the process of getting healthy.”
 
Hanrahan said after conferring with Andrews there was essentially no decision to be made. The tendon had torn away from the bone, with surgery the only course of action to repair the injury.
 
“Initially, I thought there might be a decision to make, but after talking with him, he basically walked in, looked at my arm, touched it and said there really wasn’t a decision,” Hanrahan said. “I think the flexor pretty much tore right off the bone. It wasn’t really a decision. It was really a matter of what kind of surgery it was going to be. As of now, it’s just going to be the flexor. When he gets in there and takes a look, it could be worse, it could be not as bad. But that’s kind of where we’re at right now.”
 
Whether Hanrahan will ultimately require Tommy John surgery to repair the ligament will not be known until Andrews gets into the elbow and is able to more closely inspect the ligament.
 
“On the MRI, he said it looked pretty good,” Hanrahan said. “He’s going to go in and look and see if that’s something that needs to be done. As of now, it doesn’t need to be. Once he gets his eyes on it, he’ll get a better idea.”
 
If it is only the tendon that requires repair the timetable for a return to action would be about six to nine months, Hanrahan said.
 
The right-hander is uncertain if the injury was caused from wear and tear over the course of his seven-season big league career, or if it happened on a certain pitch. Hanrahan had a similar injury in 2010, starting the season on the disabled list with a right elbow flexor muscle strain, before being activated on April 12.
 
“It’s hard to say really,” he said. “It’s something that I dealt with before, then it felt pretty good. Sometimes it was a little sore here and there, but still I could pitch, throw hard.”
 
Hanrahan is taking a pragmatic approach to his situation.
 
Asked about Hanrahan's mindset, manager John Farrell replied:  "All things considered, very realistic. He’s come to grips with what’s happened and what’s been recommended. so he’s working through that."
 
“Obviously no one wants to have surgery,” Hanrahan said. “But I’m just trying to stay positive and looking at the bright side of getting healthy for next year.”
 
Where that will be remains to be seen.  What this means for Hanrahan’s future with the Red Sox is uncertain at this point. He was acquired in a December trade with the Pirates to be the closer, replacing Andrew Bailey, who was injured for much of last season and struggled when he returned in August.  Hanrahan, though, has also struggled with injuries and (he also missed 15 games in April with a right hamstring strain) ineffectiveness this season.  In nine appearances, spanning 7 1/3 innings, Hanrahan has posted a record of 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA, four saves and two blown saves.
 
Hanrahan, 31, will be a free agent after the season.
 
“It’s still pretty new,” Hanrahan said. “We haven’t got to that point. We’re just trying to figure out the details of where and when and what’s going to happen after that. Hopefully I get another chance here maybe and show the fans here what kind of pitcher I really am. This year has kind of been a wash. Now it’s definitely a wash. We’ll see where it takes me from here.”
                                                                                                                                     
“In a situation like this you set aside a person’s contract status,” said Farrell. “You try to get the information on how the injury occurred and what’s the best course to take long term. He’s 31 years old, and yes, free-agency is pending. You have to do what’s right for the guy and that’s gathering all the information needed.
 
“In those conversations you don’t want a short term solution or quick  fix. This is something that hopefully can be taken care of once and that he has a long productive career following.”