Shohei Ohtani

Ohtani has elbow surgery, expected to hit in '24, pitch in '25

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Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani officially is on the road to recovery.

Ohtani announced on Instagram that he underwent surgery on his right throwing elbow on Tuesday after tearing his ulnar collateral ligament on Aug. 23. The procedure was a success.

"I had a procedure done on my elbow earlier this morning and everything went very well," Ohtani wrote. "Thank you very much for everyone's prayers and kind words. It was very unfortunate that I couldn't finish out the year on the field, but I will be rooting on the boys until the end. I will work as hard as I can and do my best to come back on the diamond stronger than ever."

The doctor who performed Ohtani's surgery was Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the Los Angeles Dodgers' head team physician who also performed Tommy John surgery on Ohtani in Oct. 2018.

In a statement released through the Angels, ElAttrache said he expects Ohtani to be able to hit without restrictions by the start of the 2024 season and anticipates a return to pitching in 2025.

"The ultimate plan after deliberation with Shohei, was to repair the issue at hand and to reinforce the healthy ligament in place while adding viable tissue for the longevity of the elbow," ElAttrache said. "I expect full recovery and he'll be ready to hit without any restrictions come opening day of 2024 and do both [hit and pitch] come 2025."

Ohtani's agent, Nez Balelo, in a statement released through the Angels, made it clear that Ohtani's goal is to continue hitting and pitching in the future.

"The final decision and type of procedure was made with a heavy emphasis on the big picture," Balelo said. "Shohei wanted to make sure the direction taken gave him every opportunity to hit and pitch for many years to come."

Ohtani will become a free agent after the 2023 MLB season. The Giants were expected to heavily pursue the AL MVP frontrunner before his elbow injury, and they likely still will in their continued pursuit of a superstar.

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