Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards has damage to his ulnar collateral ligament, an MRI revealed Wednesday, and is currently weighing surgical and conservative care options.
Richards threw just 2 2/3 innings before catcher Martin Maldonado noticed something was bothering the righty and asked manager Mike Scioscia and an Angels trainer to evaluate the 30-year-old on the mound in Tuesday’s game. Richards immediately walked off the mound and after 10 seconds in the dugout he retreated into the clubhouse.
UPDATE: Garrett Richards underwent an MRI of his right elbow today in LA. The MRI revealed damage to his ulnar collateral ligament. Garrett was presented with both conservative care & surgical options to treat the injury. An updated plan of care will be provided when appropriate.
— #VoteSimba (@Angels) July 11, 2018
Richards start Tuesday was just his second since returning from a stint on the 10-day disabled list for a hamstring strain. Prior to that injury, he had been holding down the Halos No. 1 starter role with a 3.42 ERA to go along with 78 punch outs.
The SoCal native has been injury plagued throughout his career: he suffered a torn left patellar tendon in 2014, a torn UCL in 2016 and was off-and-on throughout last season with a lingering biceps issue.
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While UCL injuries frequently require Tommy John surgery to be fully repaired, Richards is looking at other potential options, according to the Angels. Shohei Ohtani, who was diagnosed with a grade 2 UCL sprain underwent biometric treatment as his form of recovery in early June and is expected to be reevaluated in a few weeks to see if he will be able to pitch again this season.
With Richards on the 10-day DL, the Angels have called up righty Deck McGuire and they are also expecting to have Tyler Skaggs back in the lineup as soon as Thursday, Scioscia said.