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Updated: August 9th, 2011 7:06pm
No surgery yet for Kyle Gibson, who has partial tear of elbow ligament

No surgery yet for Kyle Gibson, who has partial tear of elbow ligament

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- On a scale of good news to bad news, the fate of ailing right-hander Kyle Gibson likely lies somewhere in the middle after his meetings with doctors in Minneapolis over the last two days.

Gibson was told Tuesday that he has a strained right flexor pronator muscle, as well as a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

As of right now, Gibson will not undergo Tommy John surgery. Instead, he will report to the Twins' rehab program in Fort Myers later this week to begin strengthening and flexibility exercises.

Fellow Triple-A right-hander Anthony Slama was also diagnosed with a strained flexor pronator muscle, and he will also begin rehab later this week.

Gibson, 23, was sidelined after his July 22 start against Indianapolis due to elbow discomfort and has not pitched since.

Ranked by Baseball America as the 34th-best prospect heading into 2011, Gibson owned a 4.81 ERA with 91 strikeouts and 27 walks in 95 1/3 innings for Triple-A Rochester this season after posting a combined 2.96 ERA in 152 innings over three levels last year.

The Twins were hoping to see Gibson throw more than 150 innings this season, but he failed to pitch beyond five innings in any of his last five starts, and he went more than six innings only once in his last 10 outings.

Slama made a brief appearance with the Twins back in May, but the bulk of his work has come in Rochester. Slama owns a 2.92 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 16 walks in 37 innings, but he has been dealing with arm issues off and on since spring training.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd