BOSTON — Ivan Nova has been recommended to undergo Tommy John surgery, the anticipated result of his examination Tuesday by the Yankees’ team physician.
Manager Joe Girardi has already tabbed lefty Vidal Nuno to fill Nova’s spot in the starting rotation. The only unresolved matter is Nova’s official decision.
“I don’t know if he’ll go for another opinion or what he’ll do. That’s a player’s option,” Girardi said at Fenway Park, prior to the three-game series opener against the Red Sox. “I’m sure it’s the last thing he wanted to hear and sometimes it takes a little while to sink in before you make a decision.”
Under the supervision of Dr. Chris Ahmad, the right-handed Nova underwent an MRI arthrogram at New York Presbyterian Hospital that confirmed the original diagnosis of a partially torn right ulnar collateral ligament.
A downcast Nova, 27, had said that the injury occurred on a fifth-inning pitch Saturday at Tampa Bay, in a 16-1 Yankees loss in which Nova yielded four home runs.
“I’ve got to keep working hard if I want to get back as soon as possible,” Nova said Sunday, prior to the official recommendation of the season-ending surgery. But there was still the looming probability of reconstructive elbow surgery, with a 12 to 18 month timetable for return.
“We’ll wait to hear what his decision is,” Girardi said. “Obviously, it’s a big blow, but someone else has to step up.”