Pelfrey diagnosed with ulnar nerve irritation

NEW YORK — Right-hander Mike Pelfrey had his throwing shoulder and elbow examined in Minnesota on Friday, and irritation was found in his ulnar nerve in his elbow but both his elbow and shoulder were structurally sound.

Pelfrey, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin, complained of shoulder soreness after his most recent rehab start with Triple-A Rochester. So he flew to the Twin Cities to get both his shoulder and elbow examined to determine the problem.

The shoulder was fine but an MRI exam on his elbow found some nerve irritation and scar tissue in his elbow. Pelfrey will take anti-inflammatories for now but is expected to see Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion. Dr. Andrews performed Pelfrey’s Tommy John surgery on his elbow in May of 2012.

“They looked at his shoulder and it looked great so they looked at this elbow and there was a little bit of irritation in the ulnar nerve, which was transposed when he had the surgery,” Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. “They said that’s not abnormal or a major thing. They’re hoping to treat it with anti-inflammatories.”

Pelfrey had seen his velocity decrease this season, and the Twins are hopeful they’ve now found the root of his problem. He’d also been dealing with some tingling in his fingers, which is something he felt before the Tommy John surgery and is believed to be related to the nerve issue in his elbow.

“Hopefully we’re getting to the bottom of it with him,” Antony said. “We’re going to try to treat it with anti-inflammatories and if he needs surgery, it’ll be very minor and just clean up some scar tissue.”

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