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Former Tigers Pitcher Joel Zumaya To Undergo Tommy John Surgery

Would he or wouldn't he?

That was the question for former Detroit Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya, now with the Minnesota Twins, after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow approximately 10 days ago. Would he opt for reconstructive elbow surgery and try yet again to continue his baseball career?

After taking time to think it over and discuss it with his family, Zumaya has indeed decided to have Tommy John surgery and give this pitching thing at least one more try. The procedure will be performed on March 29 by Dr. James Andrews and Zumaya will begin the long recovery and rehabilitation from there.

Zumaya obviously had to think about whether or not to go through that grueling process all over again. But Tommy John surgery will presumably make his arm as healthy as it's been in years and he could come back strong. As ESPN's Buster Olney wrote in his Monday column (insider), that's what Twins general manager Terry Ryan has in mind.

Talked to Minnesota Twins GM Terry Ryan about him the other day, and Ryan said Zumaya was throwing so well that there had been a real sense that he could help Minnesota this year. If Zumaya was that good this time around, there's really no reason to think he can't be throwing well again a year from now -- if healthy.

Presumably, this means Zumaya will return to the Twins if and when he fully recovers from surgery and can pitch again. After all, they'll be paying him ($400,000 guaranteed on an $850,000 incentive-laden contract) through his rehab.

But even if it's in an opposing uniform, it would be nice to see Zumaya take the mound and bring the heat. (His curveball was also a thing of beauty.) Best wishes to him with his latest comeback attempt.