I had you going there, didn't I? A UCL injury can mean Tommy John surgery. But not when it's a UCL injury in the thumb! Haha, jokes! I had you going for the split-second that you were reading that headline before you got to the end of that headline.
So we know that Boston Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey is out with a thumb injury, presumably sustained in an on-field collision. We don't know when Bailey will be back on the field and throwing meaningful innings. Indications, however, are that it could be some time. Bobby Valentine:
Bobby V acknowledges that Sox expect to be w/o Bailey for a while, but expects Beckett to make start as scheduled Saturday. #RedSoxTalk— Sean McAdam(@Sean_McAdam) April 3, 2012
Here's more detail, from Alex Speier:
According to a major league source, the injury sustained by Andrew Bailey is believed to involve the UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) in the pitcher's thumb.
According to Dr. Bruce Leslie of Newton Wellesley Orthopediac Associates, there are three grades for a UCL injury. A Grade 1 does not need surgery and includes three weeks of immobility. A Grade 2 sometimes does not require surgery, but often ends up needing a procedure after the initial treatment isn't effective. A Grade 3, which does include surgery, has the patient coming back anywhere from 2-3 months, with a cast needed between 4-6 weeks.
Bailey has had one person recommend surgery. It would appear that he's headed for surgery. If that's the case, then the Red Sox will be even more glad that they traded for Mark Melancon than they already were. I'm assuming that the Red Sox were not completely overcome with glee that they traded for Mark Melancon. You can't be more glad than that.