Los Angeles Dodgers star right-hander Walker Buehler on Tuesday underwent a successful UCL reconstruction, otherwise known as Tommy John surgery, and flexor tendon repair, according to the teamofficially ending his season and likely keeping him out for 2023 as well.
The 28-year-old Buehler last pitched June 10, when elbow discomfort forced him from the game. With imaging on his elbow unclear, Dr. Neal ElAttrache planned surgery for Tuesday during which he would determine whether Buehler needed a full reconstruction of his ulnar collateral ligament.
« Tommy John Round 2 let’s roll, » Buehler captioned a photo posted to Instagram. « See ya when I see ya @dodgers. »
Buehler will spend more than a year rehabilitating from the surgery for the second time. He needed Tommy John surgery in 2015, after the Dodgers drafted him with the 24th overall pick in the first round.
In the time since, he has been one of the best pitchers in baseball — and a vital cog on their 2020 World Series championship team. Over 115 regular-season appearances, Buehler has a career 3.02 ERA, 690 strikeouts and just 162 walks in 638 1/3 innings.
Buehler got off to a relatively slow start in 2022, allowing eight runs in 6⅓ innings in his first two June outings. He was shut down because of a flexor strain, at which point he also had a bone spur removed from his right elbow. The initial timeline had Buehler recovering in 10 to 12 weeks, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters last week that Buehler experienced uncommon soreness while playing catch, prompting the MRI that led to him being shut him down.
ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez contributed to this report.