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Ivan Nova likely to have Tommy John surgery

Ivan Nova walks through the dugout following the

Ivan Nova walks through the dugout following the fourth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 19, 2014 at Tropicana Field. Credit: Getty Images / Brian Blanco

BOSTON - The follow-up exam went as expected, and the recommendation followed suit.

And none of it was what Ivan Nova hoped to hear.

Nova, diagnosed late Saturday night with a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, underwent an MRI Tuesday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where the diagnosis was confirmed. The recommendation from team physician Christopher Ahmad is Tommy John surgery. Typical recovery time from the surgery is 12-18 months.

"I don't know if he'll go for another opinion," manager Joe Girardi said. "That's a player's option. I'm sure that's the last thing he wanted to hear. Sometimes it takes a little time to sink in before you can make a decision. But that's what our doctor recommended and we'll wait to hear what his decision is."

It would not be unusual for Nova, who remained in New York, to get another opinion. "We had high hopes for him because of what he did at the end of last year, [and] in spring training he was very, very good," Girardi said of the pitcher, 2-2 with an 8.27 ERA in four starts this year."Obviously we had big expectations for him and this is a big blow to our rotation."

Girardi said lefthander Vidal Nuño, who threw five scoreless innings Sunday in Tampa, for now is taking Nova's spot. Robertson returns

David Robertson, on the disabled list since April 7 with a left groin strain, was activated before Tuesday night's game.

"Everything went great, I had no problems,"Robertson said. "Looking forward to getting in the real games."



Ichiro in, Gardy out


Girardi went with Ichiro Suzuki instead of Brett Gardner because of the 40-year-old's career numbers against Lester: 17-for-51 (.333) with a .346 OBP compared to 2-for-11 (.182) with a .250 OBP for Gardner.

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