Koji out up to eight weeks
It seemed ominous this week when the Orioles medical staff decided to have Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara undergo an arthrogram on his sore right elbow, and now we know why.
The results came back and Uehara is suffering from a partially torn flexor tendon. He'll be shut down for up to five weeks, then embark on a throwing program that could extend his absense up to eight weeks or more. It's probably not out of the question that his season is over.
"Koji is going to be out for awhile,'' said manager Dave Trembley. "He has a partial tear in his elbow and will rest for three to five weeks. Surgery is not required...It could be seven or eight weeks before he's in a game again. He's going to get a second opinion, which everyone does now, but Dr. (John) Wilckens and Dr. (Andrew) Cosgarea are confident that's what it is."
Uehara was thought to be suffering from tendinitis, but there was enough lingering soreness to convince the medical staff to look deeper. An arthrogram is an x-ray that is taken after dye is injected into the area to highlight any structural damage.
"It's an unfortunate thing for him and for us,'' Trembley said. "I talked to him and he was very dejected."
"To tell [you] the truth, I don’t want to think about it," Uehara said through an interpreter when asked if he was frustrated. "I wasn’t expecting it, not at all," he added.
Triple-A call up David Hernandez, who moved into the rotation for the second time when Koji came up sore, will take his slot indefinitely.
"We all like him,'' Trembley said. "He's got good stuff. He's got an upside. He'll get an opportunity to pitch, unfortunately with Koji getting hurt, but that is part of the game."
Associated Press photo