Cubs reliever Brandon Hughes underwent a debridement surgery on his left knee today, the team informed reporters (including Maddie Lee of the Chicago Sun-Times). It was already known Hughes was going under the knife, though this specific surgery represents a change of plans.
Initially, doctors anticipated Hughes would require an osteotomy, a procedure that involves readjusting the bone. A debridement instead involves the removal of damaged tissue from the area. Lee suggests the new procedure comes with a quicker recovery timeline than the osteotomy, which was expected to sideline him into next year’s Spring Training.
The Cubs haven’t provided more specifics on Hughes’ new timeline, leaving it unclear whether a return this season is possible. Teammate Adrian Sampson underwent a debridement surgery on his knee in early May; he began a rehab assignment last weekend, roughly seven weeks post-operation. Obviously, there’s no guarantee Hughes will follow a similar path. The Cubs placed him on the 60-day injured list yesterday, so he’s ineligible to return until mid-August in any event.
Hughes, 27, emerged as a closing option for David Ross late last season. He posted a 3.12 ERA over 57 2/3 frames as a rookie. The southpaw has allowed 11 runs in 13 2/3 innings this year, striking out 17 but issuing eight walks.