Kuo has surgery, should be ready for spring
Dodgers' lefty reliever undergoes fifth operation on left elbow
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo underwent arthroscopic surgery Friday on his left elbow. The club said he should be ready for Spring Training.
It was the fifth operation on Kuo's elbow, which has undergone Tommy John reconstruction twice. This time, he had a loose body and scar tissue removed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who said Kuo will begin physical therapy next week and throwing in six to eight weeks.
Kuo, an All-Star in 2010 but plagued by anxiety disorder in '11, developed soreness this week just before he was scheduled to leave to pitch for the Taiwan National Team in a five-game exhibition series against a Major League All-Star team.
The injury is the latest in the saga of the 30-year-old, who has been in the organization longer than anyone else on the roster. He's survived five Dodgers managers, five general managers and two owners.
Signed out of Taiwan at age 17, he struck out seven of the first 10 batters in his professional debut and also blew out his elbow, leading to the first of two Tommy John operations. After his second operation, he had to be talked out of retirement by teammates Darren Dreifort and Eric Gagne and Acey Kohrogi, executive director of Asian operations. His most recent operation was in 2007 for bone chips.
This year, Kuo showed flashes of the brilliance that led to a 1.20 ERA and All-Star appearance in 2010, but he issued 23 walks in 27 innings and a 9.00 ERA came with the yips, baseball's pitching manifestation of anxiety disorder. During the final week of the season, Kuo said he wasn't sure if he wanted to pitch next season or retire.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.