Luke Putkonen has bone spur removed from elbow, is out indefinitely
DETROIT — Initially, Luke Putkonen was elated when he heard the words “no surgery” from noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, the same guy who performed his first Tommy John surgery before his freshman year at North Carolina.
It meant he would not need another Tommy John surgery.
But he still ended up going on Andrews’ operating table three weeks later, having arthroscopic surgery Thursday in Pensacola, Fla., to remove a bone spur (posterior osteophyte) from his right elbow.
“Hopefully that’ll take care of his issues,” said Detroit Tigers head trainer Kevin Rand, who said that Andrews smoothed the area out. “It’s a bony growth. It’s not a bone chip.”
Putkonent will be re-examined after six-to-eight weeks of rest and rehabilitation, but there is no timetable set for his return to the Tigers.
He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 19 with inflammation in his throwing elbow. The training staff thought they’d gotten the inflammation cleared up, and had him make three rehabilitation appearances in the minors in early May, before it flared back up again. The team sought and received a second opinion from Andrews late last month.
“We knew he had the osteophytes when we did the MRI. Those are common. You can have a lot of guys that’ll have those type of bony type changes in their elbow from pitching,” Rand said. “The question is, are you going to be able to get that quiet where you can go through and have no issues with it, and obviously he wasn’t able to.”