Tim Collins has suffered a major setback in returning to the Major Leagues after it was revealed today he will need a second Tommy John surgery. The left-hander was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery from last spring that kept him out the entire 2015 season. He was eyeing a return in May or June of this season. According to Jeffrey Flanagan, the previous graft did not take, and the Royals have no timetable on how long Collins will be out.
Tommy John surgery is a surgical graft where the ulnar collateral ligament is takien from a tendon elsewhere in the body, or from a cadaver. According to this study by ESPN, over one-third of Tommy John surgeries in 2014 were due to the initial graft not taking, with the numbers rising. Pitchers can usually recover from one Tommy John surgery, but having two surgeries lowers the chance of recovery significantly. Kris Medlen and Joakim Soria have both had two Tommy John surgeries.
When asked if it's worth going through a 2nd-straight year of rehab, Collins says, "I'm still young. I'm 26." #Royals— Josh Vernier (@JoshVernier610) March 24, 2016
"You don't want to miss two consecutive years of baseball," said Collins. "A lot can happen in those 2 years, a lot younger guys coming up."— Josh Vernier (@JoshVernier610) March 24, 2016
"The #Royals, they know what I'm capable of doing, so, I think they'll take that into consideration when it comes that time (post rehab)."— Josh Vernier (@JoshVernier610) March 24, 2016
The 26-year old Collins has a 3.51 ERA in four seasons with the Royals, including a 3.86 ERA in 21 innings in his most recent season in 2014, where he was demoted to Omaha for a bulk of the season. He was tendered a contract this season and is set to earn $1.475 million this year.