Superbad Twins closer Joe Nathan, who left the game against the Red Sox on Saturday due to soreness in his surgically repared right elbow, just delivered a crushing blow to Twins Territory: he MAY be out for the season. That sound you just heard? The residents of the entire state of Minnesota simultaneously breaking out into hysterical sobs.
Nathan had MRI and CT scans on Monday to determine if the tightness he was feeling in his elbow was just a kink from his surgery last October, or if it was something more serious. Turns out he has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), and that could lead to Tommy John surgery. Ouch.
Joe is pretty optimistic at this time, hoping that a little R&R will do the trick. If the injury doesn't heal within a few weeks, they'll explore the option of surgery. Twins fans everywhere are also hoping for the best - at this time, the Twins don't have an apparent backup plan if their all-star closer is out for the season. There is the possiblity that our favorite side-armed wonderboy, Pat Neshek, may step in to fill the void.
Neshek is fresh off the DL himself after having Tommy John in 2008 and missing the entire 2009 season. So far this spring, Pat is pitching like he'd never been injured - he's pitched two innings in which he's struck out two, given up just one hit, and one walk. For now, Twins fans are still hoping Neshek is their ass kicking set up guy for Nathan this year.
Get well soon, Joe!
Get Well Soon, Joe Nathan