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Zumaya Undergoes Surgery On Right Elbow; Cause Of Pain Still Undetermined

The mystery of Joel Zumaya’s right elbow continues.

Zumaya and the Detroit Tigers went to Dr. James Andrews’ clinic in Pensacola, Fla. hoping to get some answers as to why his elbow continues to cause him pain. But after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on the elbow, they still don’t know exactly what’s causing the problem.

But the issue may have been taken care of with what Andrews did during the surgical procedure. Zumaya’s elbow joint was cleaned out and a screw that was inserted after he originally fractured the elbow last June was replaced. It’s possible that the screw was what caused the pain, so it’s hoped that a new screw will alleviate the problem.

The timetable for Zumaya now is to rest and rehab his elbow for six weeks. After that, he’ll visit Dr. Andrews again for a re-evaluation. If all goes well (which is a major qualifier any time Zumaya’s health is the subject of a story), Zumaya could resume throwing by late June.

Would that mean that Zumaya could actually pitch for the Tigers again this season? Tigers head trainer Kevin Rand wouldn’t rule that out, but who’s to say what’s actually possible for Zumaya at this point?

Maybe he could do what MLive.com’s Matt Sussman suggested and try the same stem cell treatment that apparently rejuvenated Bartolo Colon’s this season. (MLB is looking into the procedure to see if it’s on the up-and-up, however, so Zumaya might want to wait on that.)