Gibson gets second opinion on injured right elbow

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins top pitching prospect Kyle Gibson received a second opinion from Dr. David Altchek on his injured right elbow in New York yesterday, according to general manager Bill Smith.

Gibson, who was officially diagnosed with a flexor pronator muscle strain of the right elbow and a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament on Aug. 9, is still expected to avoid Tommy John surgery for now.

“Dr. Altchek recommended continued rehabilitation in Fort Myers, [Fla.] and we will reevaluate after the initial phase of the rehab program,” Smith said.

Gibson still could undergo Tommy John surgery in the offseason, but the club is hopeful he can avoid the surgery through rehab.

Gibson, 23, was originally placed on the Minor League disabled list with soreness in the flexor muscle area near his elbow before undergoing an MRI. The 6-foot-5 right-hander is the 33rd-ranked prospect in baseball and No. 2 in the Twins’ system, according to MLB.com.

Gibson, the club’s first-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, had struggled before hitting the DL, as he went 0-5 with a 6.47 ERA in eight starts over June and July. It came after he entered June with a 3.60 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 55 innings.

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