Red Sox Lose Pitcher For Months To Elbow Surgery

Surgery for an "ulnar nerve transposition." It's not Tommy John surgery, but it just doesn't sound good. Reattachment of the ulnar nerve in the elbow is the procedure that Boston Red Sox right-hander Zack Kelly is now facing, and that will keep him out for quite likely the rest of the season.

Per Red Sox beat writer Pete Abraham, Kelly's UCL — the ligament that's involved in Tommy John surgery — is intact. As well, Kelly had an internal brace inserted into his elbow in 2020—that, too, is fine. But the ulnar nerve procedure will keep Kelly out somewhere from 3-to-5 months or even longer.

Kelly, 28, looked like he'd earned himself a solid spot in the BoSox' bullpen after a nice run in the minors and some good numbers in a small sample size with Boston. 

He was extremely emotional on the mound when the injury occurred last week, because of what he'd gone through to come back from his 2020 surgery. Warning: this can be hard to watch.

“Definitely emotional for two reasons,” Kelly said. “One, because I care. I care about this game, these guys and I enjoy doing this. Two, just all the (expletive) I went through to get here. It’s just a lot. Whenever something like that happens, you get emotional about it.”

Kutter Crawford has been called up to replace Kelly. 

Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports