Braves: Spencer Strider is out for the season, but it’s not Tommy John

Spencer Strider Mets

As most expected, it has now been confirmed that Braves ace Spencer Strider will miss the rest of the season. However, he did not undergo the traditional Tommy John surgery. Instead, he had internal brace surgery, which will hopefully shorten the recovery time, as he aims to return early next season.

This is the first time I’ve ever heard of a Braves player getting internal brace surgery, but it is the same procedure Shohei Ohtani underwent recently after his second torn UCL.

Here’s a description of the surgery from the doctor who operated on Ohtani, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, via The Associated Press. 

ElAttrache described Ohtani’s second operation as a hybrid procedure involving an internal brace – adding braided suture to repair the torn ligament – as well as the insertion of the tendon like what is done in a traditional Tommy John surgery.

The hybrid approach, combining the ligament replacement originated by Dr. Frank Jobe with the artificial internal brace developed by Dr. Jeffrey R. Dugas, was developed by Texas Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister.

“He and I are both doing the same thing, same philosophy, in adding braided suture to repair and enhance the existing torn ligament as well as putting in the new graft,” ElAttrache said. “So you’re getting all the benefits of an augmented what’s called internal brace, where you’re putting suture in to brace the elbow. I like to put that suture in the native tissue because then I know it’s perfectly anatomic and it’ll tighten at exactly the right time.”

What I do know is these players receive recommendations from the best doctors on the planet, and the Braves wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize the future of Spencer Strider any further. Getting him back earlier next season should not be the priority. He’s much more valuable later in the year, and the Braves have to be thinking even further down the road. Spencer Strider is under team control through 2029, and the hope is that he can bounce back from this and still head the rotation for many years to come.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire


Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: