Sports Out West

Padres news: Casey Kelly may require Tommy John surgery

040415-N-9421C-117 San Diego, Calif. (Apr. 15, 2004) - Military members take to the field prior to the National Anthem being sung during Military Appreciation Day at Petco Park, home to the San Diego Padres. The Padres annually honor military members by wearing camouflage uniforms during Military Appreciation Day. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Kerryl Cacho. (RELEASED

San Diego Padres pitcher Casey Kelly is still dealing with soreness on his right throwing elbow, and will undergo tests to explore the extent of the damage, according to MLB.com’s Padres reporter Corey Brock.

Though it’s only speculation at this point, the worst-case scenario would be that he would have to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament. If such an injury were to occur, the recovery time is roughly 12-18 months for pitchers. Kelly, who has not pitched since March 7, was expected to compete for the No. 5 starter role with San Diego, working to beat out Freddy Garcia, Anthony Bass and Tyson Ross

The 23-year-old was one of the players who came to San Diego from the Boston Red Sox and was once considered the organization’s top prospect. He has tremendous upside and at his young age, could be the kind of player who could anchor the starting rotation. In his career through the 2012 season, he’s totaled 26 strikeouts with a 6.21 ERA and notched a 2-3 record. 

Update: Bill Center of the U-T San Diego reports that the Padres are indeed concerned about of the elbow that involves Tommy John surgery. 

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.