"Tommy John" surgery likely for Riske

Brewers reliever David Riske had a setback in his recovery from a right elbow injury and likely will need reconstructive surgery that would end his season, assistant general manager Gord Ash said Tuesday.

Riske has an appointment with Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles on Monday, at which point a decision will be made regarding “Tommy John” surgery. Such a procedure would sideline Riske for up to a year.

“The likelihood is that he will have a reconstruction,” Ash said.

Riske has been on the disabled list since the second week in April because of pain in his elbow and later was diagnosed with laxity, or looseness, of the ulnar collateral ligament. Riske was examined by both Dr. William Raasch, Milwaukee’s head team physician, and Yocum, a noted orthopedist based in Los Angeles, and opted for a course of rehabilitation to strengthen the joint.

It appears that course didn’t work, because Riske reported what Ash called “ongoing pain” in his elbow during a weekend appearance at extended Spring Training.

The Brewers have said from the beginning that Riske’s options were rehab or surgery, but Riske disputed during the team’s last road trip that surgery was ever discussed. Ash was surprised by those comments. 

“I don’t know what he was doing, because the diagnoses from both Dr. Raasch and Dr. Yocum were that he had a ligament issue and that if he rehabbed first and it didn’t work, he would have a reconstruction,” Ash said on Tuesday.  

In an unrelated matter, Ash said that outfielder Chris Duffy had accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Nashville and would report there beginning Wednesday.

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