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Diamondbacks’ Bronson Arroyo kept pitching after UCL tore, optimistic about recovery

PHOENIX — Tough news hit the Arizona Diamondbacks clubhouse Monday. Starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo (7-4, 4.08) will have to undergo Tommy John surgery to help repair a torn Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

Arroyo, who was acquired by the team during the off-season, has been known as one of the healthiest players in the league, being that he hadn’t had a serious injury in his 15-year Major League career until this season.

“(My elbow) was hurting my last six starts, but I pitched against (Washington Nationals’ Stephen) Strasburg, beat him and got the complete game [on May 13], and I’m pretty sure it (the ligament) must have torn off during that game at some point,” said Arroyo on Monday.

As bad as that sounds, Arroyo said he wasn’t aware how serious the injury was.

“I hear some guys say they hear something pop and complaining a bit more than I feel,” the 37-year-old pitcher said. “There was pain there, but as soon as (a doctor) looked at my MRI, he said the entire ligament is gone.”

Since this is the first time Arroyo will have the operation, he said he has asked his fellow teammates what he can expect, and reporting receiving mixed thoughts.

“I found everyone is different,” he said. “Everybody responds differently: Some are really stiff; some feel really great. It’s going to be a weird process, but hopefully my body will respond well and I can get back in 10 months. But you never know; some guys just never come back.”

But Arroyo said he is remaining optimistic while hoping to follow in the footsteps of his teammates.

“We have four guys right now going through the process, and all of them have been on schedule for what they thought,” said the 15-year veteran. “I just want to give this team an opportunity to see me pitch under stress for at least a couple of months, so they know I’m the same guy they would like to have in 2016.”

Arroyo added that he hopes to undergo the surgery sometime this week.

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