Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 3/21/12
The second opinion that Royals closer Joakim Soria was seeking regarding his injured right elbow confirmed the original diagnosis Soria indeed has the worst-case scenario, which is damage to the ulnar collateral ligament. Soria has indicated he now will take a few days of leave to determine what his next course of action will be. One option would be Tommy John surgery, which Soria already had on the elbow back in 2003. Another such surgery would put him out of baseball at least a year with no guarantees he could return to the same form he displayed as an All-Star closer with the Royals. Soria also could opt to simply rest the the arm for several months, and hope to eventually pitch through the discomfort. The Royals, meanwhile, will immediately begin to prepare for life without Soria, who is third all-time in club history with 160 saves. Since taking over as the club's full-time closer in July of 2007, Soria converted 150 of 167 save opportunities (89.8 percent). That percentage is better than everyone in baseball except for Mariano Rivera (92.1 percent) and Jose Valverde (90.4 percent). "(Losing Soria) is going to be a definite blow to our bullpen," Royals manager Ned Yost told reporters in Surprise, Ariz. "But Dayton has done a tremendous job in providing depth in case something like this happens. Hopefully, we should be able to absorb it." The Royals likely will go with either Greg Holland or Jonathan Broxton to replace Soria for now. Other candidates would include Aaron Crow and Kelvin Herrera. "Most clubs have one closer," Yost said. "We have, in my mind, three or four that could do it." Broxton, signed to a one-year deal in the off-season, is a former All-Star closer himself with the Dodgers. But Broxton also is coming off elbow surgery, though his surgery was not as invasive as Tommy John surgery. Last September, Broxton had surgery to remove bone spurs in his elbow. Nevertheless, Broxton has been brought along slowly this spring, a fact that would seem to indicate the job is Holland's for now. Holland, though, isn't assuming the job is his. "(Broxton) was one of the best closers in the game until he got hurt," Holland told mlb.com, "but he's feeling good and throwing the ball well. So if it ends up being me or we share the role or whatever, it really doesn't matter to me. It's just about going out there and trying to get outs, regardless of what the inning is." Soria said he first experienced pain in the elbow after pitching Sunday against Cleveland. On Monday, he underwent an MRI that showed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament. On Tuesday, Soria was disagnosed by specialist Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles, and Yocum confirmed the original diagnosis. "Jack is such an ultimate professional and such a leader," general manager Dayton Moore said, "that he's really hurting (emotionally) right now." The Royals are obligated to a guaranteed 6 million to Soria this season. The team has club options over the next two years at 8 million and 8.75 million. But those options include buyout options of 750,00 each. While technology for Tommy John surgery has improved dramatically in recent years, the recovery time is still estimated at a full year. Essentially, the surgery requires that the damaged ulnar collateral ligament be replaced by a tendon that is harvested from somewhere else in the body (forearm, hamstring, knee, etc.).
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: LeBron James misses wide-open windmill dunk

Kevin Durant booed by Thunder fans during introductions

Jay Cutler misses practice due to concussion

Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin do not practice a day after Norton's firing

Report: Chip Kelly leaning towards UCLA

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

David Lee feels Warriors’ dominance limited his free agent options

Patrick Beverley reportedly out for season after knee surgery

Top storylines for NFL Thanksgiving Day

Chiefs sign Darrelle Revis

John Elway developing reputation as coach-killer?

Report: Kelly reached agreement with Florida, can back out

The '303 yards and a cloud of dust' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Kyrie Irving has unlimited range

Anthony Davis may never escape his biggest flaw

What each NFL team should be grateful for this Thanksgiving

NFL Week 12 predictions

College football Week 13 predictions

The 'Greatest show on flat Earth' quiz

NFL MVP Watch: Carson Wentz stands tall among the pack

Young Maple Leafs maturing their way to the NHL elite

The Eagles are soaring but to what heights?

2017 Week 13 college football players to watch

Sports & Politics Intersect: Is Jerry out of his league?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Kyrie Irving has unlimited range

The '303 yards and a cloud of dust' quiz

Anthony Davis may never escape his biggest flaw

NFL Week 12 predictions

NFL MVP Watch: Carson Wentz stands tall among the pack

The 'Greatest show on flat Earth' quiz

Young Maple Leafs maturing their way to the NHL elite

The Eagles are soaring but to what heights?

2017 Week 13 college football players to watch

The 'Wheelin' and Thielen in Minnesota' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker