Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana is expected to miss 10-12 weeks after a surgical procedure on his middle finger of his pitching hand, the Twins announced Tuesday.
That would wipe out his entire spring training, and at least the first couple weeks of the season. Santana had “capsular release/debridement” surgery on the middle finger of his pitching hand, the Twins announced. Dr. Charles Melone performed the surgery in New York City.
Santana was the team’s best pitcher last year, and was expected to make a strong bid for the opening day start, given the current construction of the roster. Now that honors could go to J.O. Berrios, or it could fall on the shoulders of a yet unsigned free agent pitcher.
Santana apparently felt some pain in his finger last week after dialing up the intensity in his bullpen sessions leading up to spring training. Twins pitchers and catcher report to Fort Myers next week, with workouts slated to begin Feb. 14.
The veteran starter had dealt with this injury in the past, the Twins say, but exit medical examinations at the end of last season determinded that there was no injury to the tendon, and he had an injection instead of surgery.
Here’s an excerpt from a statement sent from the Twins:
“The injury is a result of repeated cumulative stress from pitching, not one acute event, and did not present again until this past week. Ervin was then re-examined by Dr. Melone and it was determined that the best course of action was to address this with a surgical procedure. He will begin rehabilitation this week.