Detroit Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer will undergo season-ending surgery to repair the ulnar nerve in his pitching elbow on Tuesday and is expected to miss 3-4 months.
The Tigers made the announcement after Fulmer visited with Dr. James Andrews on Monday. The surgery will take place in Pensacola, Fla.
Fulmer is expected to be ready for spring training. He attempted to pitch through the injury after a stint on the disabled list, but he decided to consider a more permanent solution after the Tigers fell out of playoff contention.
“I’m going to do whatever it takes to be ready for the 2018 spring training and I know I’ll be 100 percent,” Fulmer said before visiting with Andrews. “What’s best for myself and, most importantly, the team is for me to go get this checked out and see exactly what’s wrong and find a way to fix it.”
The surgery is called an ulnar nerve transposition, and will re-route the nerve so it no longer flares up. The ulnar nerve is a long cord that runs down the arm, snaking through the elbow, and Fulmer’s has been slipping out of its groove and causing inflammation and numbness. He has experienced a tingling sensation in his elbow for years, but it became more pronounced in July.
New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom underwent a similar procedure last September and returned for spring training this yeaar.
“He’s got enough time to be completely recovered before next season,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “This wasn’t an elective surgery. He didn’t walk into the doctor’s office and say, ‘I want this done.’ But the doctor recommended that he get it done to alleviate the issue, hopefully on a permanent basis.”