5:55pm: The surgery has now taken place, with the Phillies releasing a statement that says Painter “underwent successful right elbow ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction with ulnar nerve transposition surgery with Dr. Neil ElAttrache today in Los Angeles.” They list the typical timeline as 15 to 18 months.
3:25pm: The Phillies announced to reporters that pitching prospect Andrew Painter will undergo Tommy John surgery today in Los Angeles, performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, with Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia Inquirer among those to relay the news.
The news isn’t a shock, as it was reported last week that the surgery was recommended to the youngster. It was relayed at that time that he would seek a second opinion from ElAttrache before going under the knife. It seems that the doctor seconded the recommendation of the team and Painter will indeed proceed with the surgery.
Both Painter and the Phils tried their best to avoid this fate, as the righty was diagnosed with a sprain of his right ulnar collateral ligament during Spring Training. Teams generally only pursue surgery as a last resort and he was initially recommended for a non-surgical path forward, which included a four-week shutdown period. But his later attempts to ramp-up came with renewed discomfort and he could no longer avoid the worst-case scenario.
Painter came into the season considered one of the top pitching prospects in the sport and seemed to have a chance to crack the Opening Day rotation in Philadelphia, despite the fact that he wasn’t going to turn 20 until the early parts of the season. But now he’ll miss all of 2023 and possibly all of 2024 as well, likely pushing his debut until 2025, his age-22 season.