Originally written on It's Always Sunny in Detroit  |  Last updated 2/27/12
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Former Detroit Tiger and current Minnesota Twin Joel Zumaya saw his season end before it ever started on Saturday during spring training. After throwing 13 pitches of batting practice, Zumaya felt something that he knew wasn't good. "I was trying to be so optimistic, but I knew, I knew right away," Zumaya told reporters in Fort Myers, Florida on Monday. The Twins had signed Zumaya to a one-year incentive-laden contract worth $400,000 guaranteed.

The diagnosis confirmed his worst fear - a torn ulnar collateral ligament. The only potential cure for such an injury is Tommy John surgery - a ligament-replacement procedure which requires at least a year of rehabilitation. And while Zumaya is still very young, he knows that his arm and his mental strength have been through the ringer.
"I'm probably going on six surgeries if I go get another one. I'm only 27 years old. I've taken a lot of wear and tear on my body, especially my arm, and then rehab, and it just mentally takes a lot out of you."
Zumaya, who didn't pitch last season, has appeared in only 109 games since breaking onto the scene for the 2006 American League champion Detroit Tigers. Once known for his 100-plus miles per hour fastball, he's now known as a human sewing kit. He has spent much of the last six years dealing with elbow, shoulder, foot and finger injuries.

Speaking to how good of a personality Zoom is, he said that he received "like 100 text messages from quite a few teammates, ex-teammates, Tigers, quite a few friends that I played baseball with."

When asked if he wanted to endure another intense operation to attempt yet another comeback, Zumaya said, "Right now, my perspective is probably not." So what's next for Zumaya, who has a 2 1/2 year old child? He's a self-proclaimed "pretty dang good fisherman." Hopefully for him, he's been working on casting his pole left-handed.
Photo propers to MLive


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