Rangers right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez will get a second opinion on the UCL tear in his right elbow before settling on a course of action.
The Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister diagnosed the partial tear Friday and recommends a stem cell injection and a six week no-throw recovery.
That’s what Gonzalez will do if the second doctor agrees with the assessment.
The soreness has bothered Gonzalez during his past three starts going back to a March 4 game against the Brewers.
At first, Gonzalez thought he was just dealing with normal spring training soreness. But it didn’t improve and was especially painful during his post-start bullpen sessions.
“It just wasn’t getting any better and kept staying the same and I figured I should say something,” said Gonzalez, who asked for a day off Friday before being examined by Dr. Meister. “I wasn’t thinking anything was wrong with my elbow I was just thinking maybe get a day off, get some rehab and it should be good.”
Gonzalez, 25, has never been seriously injured going back to high school. He was tagged for seven runs in his last start on Tuesday against the Diamondbacks.
“I want to jump into it quickly just to get to the recovery time faster,” he said. “It was just getting annoying, that pain is not normal. It didn’t go away and I’ve never felt it before, especially in that area. I didn’t want this to happen. I’ve thrown through soreness and through pain but you can only do it to an extent.”
Gonzalez is likely to be out at least three months if he avoids surgery.
“Everything happens for a reason. Maybe I needed a break,” he said. “Could have been worse. Hopefully with this, it strengthens everything, everything gets better and I come back stronger and this never happens again.”