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Richard Lovelady undergoes Tommy John surgery

The 26-year old had shown improvement this season.

Kansas City Royals v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Royals left-hander Richard Lovelady underwent Tommy John surgery, according to his Instagram page. The procedure was performed by Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache, one of the top surgeons in the field. The rehab process usually takes 8-12 months of recovery before a player is back in Major League action, which means he will most, if not all of the 2022 season.

The 26-year old showed marked improvement this year with a 3.48 ERA and 23 strikeouts to just 6 walks in 20 2/3 innings pitched. He last pitched on August 27, but went on the Injured List after that with a UCL sprain in his left elbow.

In parts of three seasons he had a 5.62 ERA in 41 2/3 innings at the big league level, but had excelled in the minors with a 2.51 ERA in 107 23 innings of action at Triple-A. Lovelady is currently on the 60-day Injured List, but cannot remain on the list in the off=season until spring training, so he will have to occupy a 40-man roster spot if the Royals want to keep him.