Doctors still can’t determine what exactly is wrong with Joel Zumaya’s injured elbow. A visit to Dr. James Andrews on Monday ruled out nerve damage, which is good news. Yet there’s still no explanation for the pain Zumaya is feeling in his elbow and forearm.
What the Detroit Tigers do know is that Zumaya isn’t going to pitch any time soon. So the team transferred him to the 60-day disabled list on Monday, even before the visit to Dr. Andrews. That allows Detroit to open up a spot on its 40-man roster, which gives them a bit more freedom in deciding which player could be added.
But what’s next for Zumaya? The man still doesn’t know why his elbow is hurting. According to reports, doctors and training staff (along with Zumaya and his agent) are considering two options: 1) Going back to a strengthening and rehab program for six weeks before throwing again, or 2) undergoing diagnostic arthroscopic surgery. Rehab would take about six weeks, while recovering from an arthroscopy would take a bit longer.
Either way, it would be well into May before Zumaya could expect to return. A 60-day DL stint keeps him out until the end of May, anyway.
However, this latest development further calls into question whether or not Zumaya will pitch again this season. Or ever again, for that matter. Determining the exact problem with the elbow and how serious an injury it is goes a long way toward that, obviously.
But Zumaya has said he’ll “find another job” if he gets hurt again. There’s no reason not to see what happens during the rest of this season, but if Zumaya continues to encounter setbacks, he could very well decide he’s had enough.