By Sean McAdam
BOSTON -- In the last 24 hours, the Red Sox have been punched in the gut twice with serious pitching injuries,
Though details are not official complete yet, both Daisuke Matsuzaka and Rich Hill appear headed for Tommy John surgery, ending both their seasons, multiple industry sources indicated Thursday.
Matsuzaka had been sidelined since May 18 and was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He sought a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum, who Tuesday confirmed the existence of a tear in the ligament and reportedly recommended tendon-transplant surgery -- commonly known as Tommy John surgery -- to correct the problem.
The Red Sox met with Matsuzaka Thursday morning but have yet to speak with Yocum directly to hear his diagnosis first-hand. Once that process is complete, preparation will begin on scheduling surgery, likely to be performed by Yocum himself, perhaps as early as the middle of next week.
Hill, a native of Milton, Mass., walked off the mound in the seventh inning Wednesday after throwing ball four to White Sox slugger Adam Dunn. He grabbed his upper left forearm and elbow in pain and, after a quick consultant with the training staff on the field, left the game.
Early indications from an MRI performed Wednesday evening detailed a ligament injury consistent with those that usually require Tommy John surgery. According to a source close to Hill, the pitcher and his agent were making plans Thursday to seek a second opinion, but an industry source said that the tendon-transplant surgery looked highly likely.
Hill had been outstanding for the Red Sox as a lefty coming out of the bullpen this season, holding opponents scoreless in nine appearacnes and, in fact, had never allowed a run in 15 career appearances for the Red Sox, dating back to last September.