Jeremy Hefner will seek a second opinion on his injured right elbow from renowned orthopedic surgeon James Andrews. But the Mets righthander believes he will eventually require ligament-replacement surgery that could keep him out of the big leagues until 2015.
"It's looking like Tommy John right now," said Hefner, whose follow-up is scheduled for Monday. "But I just want to make sure to cover all my bases."
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Earlier this week, team doctors recommended Hefner undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a partially torn ligament in his elbow. He also learned that bone chips formed in the elbow, which only increased the pain he felt between starts.
Hefner said he pitched through the pain all season, including his final eight starts of the first half, when he went 3-1 with a 1.76 ERA. But in his first five starts after the All-Star break, Hefner went 0-2 with a 9.13 ERA.
In 24 games, Hefner is 4-8 with a 4.35 ERA.
"I'm disappointed, but I did have a good year except for the last two starts," Hefner said. "So I'll always look back to that, especially when I'm going through my rehab and stuff. I'll revert back to those times, the good times."