Rehab for Riske

Brewers reliever David Riske has opted for a course of rehab to strengthen the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. In three weeks or so, Riske and the team will determine whether he needs a surgical fix that would end his season.

The decision to try rehab was made after Riske visited Monday in Los Angeles with noted orthopedist Lewis Yocum, who concurred with the original diagnosis from Brewers head physician William Raasch. Both doctors believes that the “laxity” in Riske’s UCL can be overcome without Tommy John surgery.

“It’s not torn. If it were torn, then it would be an automatic decision to repair [with surgery],” Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said. “But because it’s not torn and there is only very minor laxity to it, the idea is to try to rehab it for three weeks or so to see if you can strengthen the area around it. If not, then he might be facing a surgery.”

Riske will re-join the Brewers on Friday in Houston and then will work out in Milwaukee from April 27 through at least May 14. On May 15, the Brewers begin another three-city road trip. 

Riske is under contract this season and next as part of a three-year contract with the Brewers. Even if he avoids surgery this season, there are no guarantees that he’s in the clear for 2010, according to Ash.

“If he can strengthen it to the point where he can make some contribution this year, then you’ve still got time to do surgery for his next contract,” Ash said. 

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