Red Sox dealt worst-case scenario blow with Lucas Giolito injury update

Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox
Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

When Boston Red Sox reporters and fans heard about Lucas Giolito's elbow discomfort following his spring training start against the Twins, minds began to race toward the worst-case scenario.

Giolito's preliminary imaging suggested the worst-case was entirely possible, as scans showed what was likely a partial UCL tear and flexor strain.

The 29-year-old received second opinions on his scans on March 11, and now Giolito is destined for surgery. He'll go under the knife on March 12 to try and repair his throwing elbow.

The nature of the procedure is unknown — it may be a full Tommy John surgery or a brace procedure, which will likely be determined on the operating table. The pitcher has already undergone Tommy John surgery before early in his major-league career. The Washington Nationals drafted him knowing he would need the work done, and he got the surgery in mid-2012.

Red Sox's Lucas Giolito to undergo elbow surgery, likely ending his season

Since, Giolito has prided himself on his durability and he's stated his goal each year is to pitch 200 innings. Now, the need for another elbow surgery will likely end his season with the Red Sox before it even started.

Depending on the severity of the damage in Giolito's arm, his rehabilitation could cut into his next season as well. A full Tommy John surgery would take well over a year to bounce back from, while the brace procedure has just about a yearlong recovery time. Either way, he's missing all of 2024 and will cost the Red Sox $19.25 million. And he has no reason to opt out of his contract, so he'll probably cost them another $19.25 million next year as he rehabs to get back on track. While there's still hope he can avoid a full-blown Tommy John procedure, the fact he's set to miss all of 2024 is just about as bad as it gets with the health implications in the short term and the effect it'll have on the Red Sox's finances.

Regardless, Giolito will have to wait until next season to have the career-rebound year he was hoping to pull off with the Sox. And Boston has added yet another player to its list of expensive injured talent.

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