Whatever happened to Joel Hanrahan’s elbow may be worse than everyone thought — but, then again, it could also be better.
Hanrahan told ESPN.com he will visit Dr. James Andrews on Friday to get further diagnosis on his injured right elbow, which caused him to leave Monday’s game and land on the disabled list. The injury is being called a flexor muscle strain. Hanrahan said he’s already had some tests and sent them ahead to Andrews, with the early thought — that the injury wasn’t as bad as it could be — being weighed against the possibility that it could be worse.
“Doesn’t look good,” Hanrahan told ESPN.com. “Leave it up to the experts. See what they say. Let them put their heads together and go from there.”
Hanrahan was initially optimistic after an MRI showed that no ligaments had been damaged, which could have meant Tommy John surgery.
“I think in the long run we dodged a bullet,” Hanrahan said at that point.
Now, though, the concern is that other damage may have been done. The inside of Hanrahan’s elbow is “bruised and badly discolored,” which sets this tweak apart from elbow injuries he’s had in the past. He missed 10 games in 2009 with elbow soreness then had a strain in spring training of the following year that led him to miss the first six games of that season.
Hanrahan has had few appearances for the Red Sox since signing a one-year, $7 million deal in the offseason to avoid arbitration after being traded from the Pirates. Looking at the injury this week, he alluded to the possibility of serious, long-term damage.
“If it is bad, I’m still 31,” he told ESPN.com. “My personal setup will be all right. On the [bad] side, I’ve been here, and I haven’t been able to do anything I want to, to show anybody who I really am. So that part will stink if something bad happens.”
Red Sox manager Ben Cherington told ESPN.com that the team is still collecting information on the extent of Hanrahan’s injury and that decisions about rest or surgery will be made after that.
Hanrahan has already spent time the disabled list this year on after injuring his hamstring.