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Fears come true: Rubby De La Rosa to have Tommy John surgery

August 2, 2011 |  4:33 pm

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There’s more Dodgers news, and of course, it’s all bad.

This news is very bad, although hardly unexpected:

Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa will have Tommy John surgery on his right  elbow.

Which means he’s not only out for the rest of this season, but very possibly next season, too.

An MRI exam on De La Rosa on Monday, done after he complained of elbow pain, revealed a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. Date and time of the ligament transfer surgery is still to be determined.

De La Rosa, 22, had been rushed to the majors from double-A Chattanooga in May, and the Dodgers' reigning minor league player of the year had mostly been very encouraging. He was 4-4 with a 3.49 earned-run average before his start Sunday, firing at up to 100 mph. He was something to get excited about.

But he threw 103 pitches in only four innings Sunday and said he felt sharp pain firing a fastball in the third inning.

Now comes a long year of rehab for De La Rosa, who admits he’s frightened.

"Yeah, a little bit," he said. "I’ve never been operated on."

This type of surgery has become almost routine, the success rate extremely high, something to at least give De La Rosa some reassurance.

"It gives me more confidence to have the operation," said De La Rosa, who rejoined the team Tuesday in San Diego. "I know if I work hard, I can come back."

It has typically taken pitchers a year to 18 months to fully recover from Tommy John surgery, although Dodgers trainer Stan Conte said De La Rosa could be looking at nine to 12 months.

Good news and the Dodgers, it is allowed, right?

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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers starter Rubby De La Rosa reacts after giving up a base hit against the San Francisco Giants on July 19. Credit: Josie Lepe / MCT

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