Yankees’ star reliever is likely out for the season: Tommy John surgery is an option

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New York Yankees’ left-handed reliever Zack Britton, one of the top bullpen arms in the league when healthy, hasn’t been himself this season. And the primary reason could be because he hasn’t been quite healthy at any point in the 2021 season.

According to NJ Advance Media, he is likely out for the rest of the 2021 season after talking with some of the most renowned arm surgeons in the country.

“I prefer not to be shut down and be able to work my way back, but the advice I’m getting is that doesn’t seem very realistic or even smart considering the surgery I had already and some of the issues I’ve been dealing with pitching through some stuff,” Britton said on Tuesday “The advice that I’ve gotten is that wouldn’t be the best move.”



The Yankees’ reliever will be examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache early next week, so he is still holding out some hope.

“It’s a little bit of stubbornness I think,” Britton said. “I’ve never waved the white flag on the season before, so it’s tough considering I want to be out there.”

Tommy John surgery is in play, but so far, it isn’t the first option

Tommy John surgery is a possibility for him, because part of his elbow issue is UCL-related. However, that specific surgery hasn’t been recommended by any doctor at this point.

“I really don’t know (about Tommy John),” Britton said. “A lot of the doctors I don’t see in person have been looking at the MRIs and give you kind of a ballpark (diagnosis). We’ll sit down and discuss the best options.”

Britton is under contract for the Yankees at a steep $14 million next season, so he obviously wants to avoid Tommy John.

“I’m trying to take my time and figure out what’s the best thing for me going forward,” Britton said. “I’m still here next year. What’s the best thing for me to be the best version of myself for this team next year. I just don’t think this year is going to be in play, but it won’t be clear until I speak to all of the doctors.”

Between a COVID-19 diagnosis, a bone chip in his left elbow, and a hamstring strain, his 2021 season was a disaster. He had a 5.89 ERA in 22 games with 16 walks over 18 1/3 innings