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09th-Sep-2018

Ohtani delivers another homer, puts surgery on hold

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AFP, Los Angeles:

Shohei Ohtani has decided to postpone a decision on whether or not to undergo right elbow surgery until he finishes the regular season as a batter for the Los Angeles Angels.
The two-way Japanese star was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his elbow which could require "Tommy John" surgery to fix.
Although the injury means the 24-year-old is unable to pitch, doctors have deemed him fit enough to take his place as a designated hitter in the Angels batting line-up and he did just that on Friday night, blasting his 19th home run of the season in a 5-2 win over the Chicago White Sox.
"Nothing's set right now (for surgery)," said Ohtani, speaking through an interpreter earlier on Friday. "I have a few options out there and I'm still trying to look into every single option.
"I will end up making a decision sometime toward the end of the year."
Ohtani launched a three-run shot to cap the Angels' four-run third inning against Chicago. He has now homered in three straight games since learning he will likely need the surgery.
Asked if he would ever consider stopping pitching he said, "That's not in the plans. I'm progressing as a hitter right now and trying to gain as many experiences as I can while the games count."
UCL is a serious injury in baseball, and "Tommy John" surgery, named after the first pitcher to undergo the procedure, usually requires at least a year on the sidelines before a player can return.