Angels’ Shohei Ohtani has elbow surgery; doctor says he likely can hit in 2024 and pitch in 2025

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Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani underwent elbow surgery and the doctor who performed the procedure said he isn’t expected to hit again until 2024 and pitch again until 2025.

Dr. Neal ElAttrache operated on Ohtani. The specifics of the surgery were kept under wraps.

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Shohei Ohtani in the dugout

Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels stands in the dugout during the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Angel Stadium in California on September 16, 2023. (John McCoy/Getty Images)

“The ultimate plan after deliberation with Shohei, was to repair the issue at hand and to reinforce the healthy ligament in place while adding viable tissue for the longevity of the elbow,” ElAttrache said in a statement through the Angels. “I expect full recovery and he’ll be ready to hit without any restrictions come opening day of 2024 and do both [hit and pitch] come 2025.”

Ohtani announced on his Instagram that he had surgery and planned to root for his teammates from the sidelines as they finish the rest of the season.

“I had a procedure done on my elbow earlier this morning and everything went very well. Thank you very much for everyone’s prayers and kind words,” he wrote. “It was very unfortunate that I couldn’t finish out the year on the field, but I will be rooting on the boys until the end.

Shohei Ohtani in the dugout

Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels looks at a tablet while sitting in the dugout before a game against the Athletics in Oakland, California, on September 1, 2023. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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“I will work as hard as I can and do my best to come back on the diamond stronger than ever.”

Ohtani’s agent, Nez Balelo, said that having the surgery was a big-picture move. Ohtani is set to become a free agent later this year.

“The final decision and type of procedure was made with a heavy emphasis on the big picture,” Balelo said in a statement through the Angels. “Shohei wanted to make sure the direction taken gave him every opportunity to hit and pitch for many years to come.”

Ohtani was batting .304 with a 1.066 OPS, 44 home runs and 95 RBI in 135 games for the Angels before he was shut down.

He had a 3.14 ERA with 167 strikeouts and a 1.061 WHIP in 23 appearances.

Shohei Ohtani has glove in mouth

Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels is shown during a game against the Athletics in Oakland, California, on September 3, 2023. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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He hadn’t pitched since Aug. 23.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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