Red Sox’ Garrett Whitlock has ligament damage, surgery likely

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Red Sox

“He’s a believer, we’ve been praying for him and trying to stay strong for him and he will be strong.”

Garrett Whitlock posted a 1.96 ERA this season before his injury. . (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The Red Sox’ fears regarding Garrett Whitlock and the state of his injured elbow were realized on Monday night.

Whitlock — who was shut down with elbow soreness last week after completing a rehab start with the Worcester Red Sox — has ligament damage in his elbow, according to Alex Cora. 

Speaking to reporters after Boston’s 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, Cora said the pitcher will likely undergo surgery in the coming days — putting the remainder of his 2024 season in doubt. 

According to MassLive’s Chris Cotillo, Whitlock will fly to Alabama and consult with orthopedist Dr. Jeffrey Dugas to confirm the diagnosis and plan the proper course of action. 

“There’s damage in the ligament so there’s a possibility he’s going to get surgery,” Cora told reporters. “He’ll fly to see the doctor this week and they’ll go from there.”

Whitlock has been sidelined since April 17 with an oblique strain, but was nearing a return after throwing 4.2 scoreless innings in Worcester on Wednesday. He successfully completed his rehab assignment, but felt discomfort in his elbow after his outing. 

Injuries have been an ongoing issue for Whitlock, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019 while in the minor leagues with the Yankees. Over his four seasons with the Red Sox, he has landed on the injured list eight times. 

Whitlock was in the midst of a strong start to his 2024 season before his oblique injury, sporting a 1.96 ERA over four outings. 

“We’ve been through this path before,” Cora said. “I know it sounds harsh, but we’ve got to turn the page and got to go. It sucks for the kid. … He’s a kid that has faith. We talked about this before. He’s only looking up. He’s a believer, we’ve been praying for him and trying to stay strong for him and he will be strong.”

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