Tigers ace Michael Fulmer to have elbow surgery, be out 3-4 months

Tigers ace Michael Fulmer to have elbow surgery, be out 3-4 months
Posted at 5:35 PM, Sep 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-11 18:43:47-04

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers lost another ace.

All-Star Michael Fulmer will undergo elbow surgery on Tuesday and miss the remainder of the season, manager Brad Ausmus said Monday. Fulmer will have ulnar nerve transposition surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews in Florida. The procedure should alleviate the numbness he had been experiencing in fingers on his right hand.

"Considering it kept rearing its head, the doctor recommended that he have this done to alleviate the issue, hopefully on a permanent basis," Ausmus said before the Tigers opened a three-game series with the red-hot Indians.

The timetable for recovery is three to four months and Ausmus said the 24-year-old Fulmer is expected to be ready for spring training.

The 2016 AL Rookie of the Year vaulted to the front of Detroit's rotation after the club traded Justin Verlander to Houston last month.

Fulmer, who made his last start on Aug. 29, went 10-12 with a 3.83 ERA in 25 starts. The right-hander lost his last six decisions, and didn't win after July 15. When the numbness persisted, the Tigers were eager for him to visit Andrews, who recommended surgery.

Ausmus said Fulmer never used the symptoms as an excuse for his struggles.

"Even to his last very last start, he was adamant that he was fine," Ausmus said. "It would come and go and show up after starts. More in the last month it would show up during a start. I guess it's impossible to have no impact, but he claims he was completely capable of pitching."