Gibson to undergo Tommy John surgery

ANAHEIM — Twins top pitching Kyle Gibson, who was diagnosed with a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament earlier this month, will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday.

The Twins were hopeful Gibson could rehab his injury in Fort Myers, Fla. without surgery, but Twins general manager Bill Smith said Gibson will instead have the surgery done by Dr. David Altchek in New York. The recovery time is usually about 12 months.

“Kyle Gibson has completed the initial phase of the rehab program at our training facilities in Fort Myers,” said Smith in an e-mail. “Based on the results, and in consultation with Kyle and our medical staff, the best treatment is to proceed with ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, also known as Tommy John surgery.”

Gibson 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. He received a second opinion from Altchek on his injured right elbow in New York on Aug. 22, but was told to finish the initial phase of his rehab before deciding whether to get the surgery.

Gibson, 23, was originally placed on the Minor League disabled list with soreness in the flexor muscle area near his elbow and underwent an MRI on Aug. 3. 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 been struggling recently, 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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