Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock’s broken elbow could keep him out for a minimum of three months before he can begin baseball activities and potentially the whole season, his surgeon, Dr. Don Sheridan, told the Phoenix media.
On Saturday, Sheridan and Pollock addressed the injury, which was related to the outfielder’s 2010 broken elbow that ended his season.
Pollock missed much of spring training with elbow soreness and x-rays taken then revealed a broken screw and poor healing following the previous surgery. At the time, the team said MRIs and x-rays revealed no long-term issues.
“We actually took an x-ray of it and it kind of shocked me, the screw was broken. It was something I was confident I was going to play with,” Pollock said Saturday. “I guess the bone healing stuff, I know the Doc really wants that to heal. I played six years with it not fused. It’s completely doable. This hardware is a lot more in-depth than the last one I had.”
In a three-hour surgery, Pollock had a plate screwed onto the broken elbow and parts of bone tissue from his hip placed into the injury to help healing. He will undergo electric stimulation and Sheridan said they “pulled out all the stops” to hope the bone heals correctly this time.
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Following initial x-rays that revealed the broken screw from the past surgery, the team and Pollock decided to allow him to play through the issue, but in his first game back on April 1, he separated the unhealed break again.
“He freshly broke through an area of the bone that had been broken before but never healed,” Sheridan said.
Sheridan added that a broken screw is a result of stressed metal due to the unhealed bone.
“We didn’t really set the plan in motion until last Friday night (after the break) but we’d known this was coming,” Sheridan added. “I had stopped by Salt River Fields (in spring) and shown A.J. what the plates and screws looked like. Given the complex nature of the surgery we all kind of agreed, ‘Look, if you can play the way it is, let’s not do it.’ It seemed like (he) was coming back and doing pretty well. Our hand was forced.”
Sheridan admitted attempting to heal a bone that hasn’t healed before is “very difficult” but he is optimistic.
“I feel really good about it,” Pollock added. “I was confident about what we were doing this time and this process and this surgery.”