Tommy John for Hanrahan

Sam Galanis
Contributing Writer

While acclaimed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews was performing the surgery on Joel Hanrahan’s torn flexor tendon earlier Thursday, he found he had a bit more work to do. Yup, it’s what everyone said might happen: Tommy John surgery.

To give you a little science lesson, with Tommy John surgery, the ulner collateral ligament in the elbow is completely replaced with a tendon from somewhere else in the body, usually from the forearm, hamstring, hip, knee, or foot. So because your body is (sort of) growing a new tendon, recovery time is much longer. Hanrahan will be out for at least 12 months.

Basically, Hanrahan is never coming back.

Okay, so I’m being dramatic. But Hanrahan did only sign a one-year contract with the Sox, so what happens after that year is still uncertain. Luckily, as opposed to the 1 in 100 chance of a full recovery that was predicted when the surgery was first performed in 1974, chances nowadays are somewhere around 83-percent.

Hanrahan probably won’t get to throw a ball for another few months in the recovery process though, so chances of any contract negotiations being made before then are not as good as his chance of a full recovery.

But according to this weird sideways photo on Hanrahan’s Instagram, he seems to be doing okay so far:

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