Yu Darvish diagnosed with sprain of UCL in elbow, could need Tommy John surgery

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Awful news here for the Rangers and baseball fans in general, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that Yu Darvish has been diagnosed with a sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He’ll be further evaluated, but the belief is that he could need season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Darvish was shut down early last season due to right elbow inflammation and left his first start of the spring this week due to what was termed as tightness in his right triceps. The Rangers downplayed the severity of the situation, but now he’s facing the worst-case scenario.

Here’s Darvish’s reaction to the bad news, via Grant:

While Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka is trying to pitch through his UCL injury, there aren’t many success stories with pitchers opting for rehab over Tommy John surgery. If Darvish tries to rehab the injury and ultimately needs the surgery, he could be at risk for missing 2015 and 2016, so there’s a lot on the line with this decision. The Rangers had no luck on the health front last year and with Darvish and Jurickson Profar, they are off to a pretty rotten start already in 2015.

Darvish, 28, has compiled a 3.27 ERA with 11.2 K/9 in 83 starts over his first three seasons in the majors.