My son is in his Junior year and is a catcher. He is being recruited by several Division 1 and other colleges. At the end of last summer at his last showcase event of the summer he strained his elbow and had to undergo rehab for a month then rest for 3 months. We made a tremendous and costly mistake three weeks ago when a winter showcase came to town…my son only threw for about a week prior to this showcase then showed up and threw max effort. When he threw his pop time to 2b he had immediate pain. long story short, we ended up in Dr. Andrews office a week later. They have found a small tear in his UCL. Dr. Andrews said that he wants him to rehab it for 6 weeks and after two weeks during the rehab he will start a light throwing program that works up to more intensity as it goes along to try to get him ready for the season since he needs to play this year to have a good chance of signing with the larger colleges that are giving him attention. Dr. Andrews told us that if he works through it and doesnt feel pain then he should be able to go but if he does feel consistent pain then Tommy Johns surgery will have to take place.
I have a few questions…Please understand that my son has worked for a long time and the last few years have really been intense once we found out that colleges were interested in him. He has worked with a personal trainer consistently, been to several showcase events, and to several camps, and has very big plans for this summer which should help him secure a scholarship and roster slot at the school he really wants to go to and if not then another good school. I am asking for anyone that has true educated knowledge on this issue to help me understand his chances of recovery with a tear. If I can be so bold, Please do not give me doom and gloom observations if you truly do not have some educated knowledge on the subject. Our entire family is scared enough. I would just like to know to the best of all of you guys knowledge what my sons chances are of him making a recovery and playing this season with a small tear in his UCL.
Our plans are to get on an elbow, forearm, and shoulder strength building program with band work to strengthen the connective tissue and muscle in his elbow and shoulder to maximize his potential for recovery.
Thank you so much for any help and advice and educated opinions that you can offer us. We are so scared he will rehab this thing and get halfway through the season and then it tear completely or too severely to play without surgery. I completely trust Dr. Andrews and he was truly concerned and compassionate…even after seeing most likely thousands of these surgeries and injuries, he treated my son like he genuinely cared about him and his staff was amazing but it still does not ease the pain of wondering what chances my son truly has of recovery without surgery.