Cleveland Guardians Pitcher Shane Bieber to Undergo Tommy John Surgery

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Cleveland Guardians’ starting pitcher Shane Bieber will be shut down and will soon undergo Tommy John surgery, the Guardians announced on Saturday morning. 

The 28-year-old right hander experienced discomfort in his elbow after his first start of the 2024 MLB regular season on March 28 against the Oakland Athletics. The elbow issues didn’t prevent Biber from making his next start four days later on April 2 against the Seattle Mariners. In fact, the elbow issues didn’t alter Bieber’s game. The Guardians’ ace has been stellar posting a 2-0 record over 12 innings pitched with a 0.00 ERA and 20 strikeouts to 1 walk. 

However, the elbow issue persisted despite Bieber’s pure dominance. 

Elbow issues aren’t something new for the Guardians pitcher. Bieber missed two-and-a-half months of the 2023 MLB seasons due to elbow issues. The timing of Bieber’s 2023 elbow inflammation prevented Cleveland from trading him during the 2023 MLB trade deadline. Bieber was able to return to the rotation in September as the Guardians attempted to make a run at the American League Wild Card. Bieber reported no issues during two September starts and was good to go throughout the offseason and 2024 Spring Training.  

Out of an abundance of caution due to the past elbow issues, Cleveland ordered more tests after Bieber’s start against Seattle. The tests revealed injury to the UCL that Bieber had issues with in 2023 and a second opinion from renowned elbow doc Dr. Neal ElAttrache led Bieber and the Guardians to Tommy John surgery. The timing for both sides couldn’t be worse, Bieber is in the final year of his contract and will become a free agent at the end of the season.

When Will Shane Bieber Have Tommy John Surgery?

There is no timetable for Bieber’s Tommy John procedure, according to Guardians’ beat reporter Mandy Bell. Generally speaking, TJS is performed a few days to a week after MRI scans confirm the need for the procedure. Like any surgery, doctors will need any swelling to subside to properly perform the procedure.

How Long is Recovery Time from Tommy John Surgery?

Bieber will miss the remainder of the 2024 campaign and a good portion of the 2025 MLB season. According to Dr. David Lintner, a baseball player can expect to return to baseball activities around 12 months after surgery followed by a six-month ramp up period. Following this timetable, Bieber wouldn’t be ready to go until late September or early October 2025. It should be noted this is a general timetable, each athlete heals at different rates. However, it’s safe to assume Bieber will most of the 2025 MLB season as well. 

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