As news broke that Shohei Ohtani had undergone elbow surgery on Tuesday morning, the baseball world immediately reacted with sadness that one of the sport's best players would not potentially be seen on the mound again until 2025.
A prepared statement from his agent, Nez Balelo, was shared outlining that the elite two-way star had undergone successful elbow surgery on Tuesday morning. The Angels had was previously placed Ohtani on the injured list by due to an oblique injury.
"Shohei had his procedure this morning at Kerlan and Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles. The final decision and type of procedure was made with a heavy emphasis on the big picture,” said Balelo. "Shohei wanted to make sure the direction taken gave him every opportunity to hit and pitch for many years to come."
Neal ElAttrache, the doctor who performed Ohtani's surgery said in the release that the "ultimate plan was to repair the issue at hand and to reinforce the healthy ligament in place while adding viable tissue for the longevity of the elbow."
The alarming part for fans, was ElAttrache’s admission that his expectations is that Ohtani will be ready to hit by Opening Day 2024 but will not pitch again until ’25.
An update from Shohei Ohtani via his Instagram— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) September 19, 2023
(📱: shoheiohtani) pic.twitter.com/2usN0L4Flz
The impending free agent, who many expect will sign one of the most lucrative contracts in MLB history, caught the attention of all Angels fans with the words on his Instagram message with “Go Halos".
Fans on social media posted messages of prayers, sadness as well as hope that arguably the greatest player in franchise history would make a triumphant return.
Honestly this is so sad😭 https://t.co/IAoZAHaVuh— Serene (@_serenaaurelle) September 19, 2023
A whole year without Ohtani on the bump?! Smart but damn I'm gonna miss it https://t.co/GEyM2A8aVw— BDL (@BDLBetting) September 19, 2023
SHO😭😭😭😭💔💔💔 https://t.co/H1MaNnYLA6— 𝘕𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘢 (@mrskumamon) September 19, 2023
No pitching until 2025 why must God be so cruel https://t.co/vwljyDlxGy— Carter (@CScoot6) September 19, 2023
I LOVE YOU SHOHEI. HEAL FAST LEGEND https://t.co/32hvsm9EiS— JSD⁹ (@Joshawott09) September 19, 2023
praying for a smoooooth recovery, i loove you shoooheiii😭 https://t.co/CZMvSbjNZr— shobadoobee |🍻 (@shobadoobee) September 19, 2023