Rosenthal: A medical quirk that afflicted Nolan Ryan gives David Price some comfort

From Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic on August 23, 2017:

In September 1986, the late Dr. Frank Jobe performed a manual test on Nolan Ryan’s painful right elbow and determined that the pitcher needed Tommy John surgery, a procedure Jobe had pioneered more than a decade earlier.

Ryan said no—he was turning 40 that January and knew the expected recovery from an elbow-ligament replacement at that time was as long as 18 months. When the season ended Ryan simply went home, hoping his elbow would heal. On Dec. 15—Ryan still remembers the date—it suddenly stopped aching. During the following year, as he earned the second of his two National League ERA titles, he recalls Jobe telling him, “I think [the ligament] calcified over enough that it stabilized your elbow.’”

The self-healing that Ryan described in a recent interview is similar to what ailing Red Sox left-hander David Price, who spent the first two months of the 2017 season on the disabled list and returned to the DL on July 28, says he is experiencing. According to Dr. James Andrews, one of two physicians who examined Price in March, that self-healing is not entirely uncommon.

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Originally published: August 23, 2017. Last Updated: August 23, 2017.