PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy traveled to Los Angeles on Tuesday with the understanding that he was likely destined to undergo his second Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. Dr. Neal ElAttache provided the confirmation after evaluating Beachy's right elbow on Wednesday.
Shortly after arriving at Tradition Field for Thursday's game against the Mets, Braves general manager Frank Wren revealed that Beachy will undergo Tommy John surgery on Friday. ElAttache will perform the procedure in Los Angeles.
Beachy now faces the same rough road that awaits his Braves rotation mate Kris Medlen, who underwent his own second Tommy John surgery on Tuesday at Dr. James Andrews' Pensacola, Fla., office. Pitchers typically face a 12-to-14-month rehab process following the procedure. But the timetable is often a little longer for those who have undergone the surgery for a second time.
When Medlen and Beachy met with Andrews on Monday, they knew the preliminary tests performed last week had provided very little reason to believe they would avoid undergoing the procedure that replaces the elbow's ulnar collateral ligament with a tendon.
While Medlen permitted Andrews to perform this procedure on him for the second time in less than four years, Beachy opted to get ElAttache's opinion before undergoing the surgery for the second time 21 months. Andrews performed the initial procedure on June 21, 2012.
"This is his career," Wren said of Beachy's desire to get another opinion. "He's got to feel confident and comfortable with how this is going to play out. If he has a better comfort level with one doctor versus the other, that is OK. That is all part of the healing process going forward."
Beachy's frustration has been rooted in the many setbacks he has had dating back to June, when he attempted to return to the Major League level 12 months after undergoing his first Tommy John surgery.
Elbow inflammation delayed his scheduled return for a month and limited him to five starts once he rejoined Atlanta's rotation on July 29. The 27-year-old right-hander had hoped he had found a solution in September, when Andrews removed a floating bone chip from his right elbow.
But Beachy battled tightness around the elbow and right biceps muscle during the early portion of Spring Training. Initially, he was told he was simply dealing with normal soreness. But after producing an ugly two-inning stint against the Phillies on March 10, he underwent tests that indicated his ulnar collateral ligament was once again damaged enough to require another Tommy John surgery.