Joel Hanrahan visiting Dr. James Andrews about elbow

Jim Rogash

The renowned surgeon will take a look at Red Sox reliever Joel Hanrahan, in what could turn out to be bad news for Boston.

[Update 4:08 pm] Looks like it will be bad news for Hanrahan, as he has been placed on the 60-day disabled listbefore even having his appointment with Dr. Andrews. That, in concert with the appointment, means surgery is a very real possibility.

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In what could turn out to be bad news for the Red Sox and their bullpen, Boston reliever Joel Hanrahan is set to visit surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Friday. Hanrahan isn't scheduled for surgery or anything like that, but the fact he's going to see a doctor whose name we all know is connected to cutting up pitchers is one of those things that can give you pause.

ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes had the news first, while WEEI's Rob Bradford mentioned on Twitter on Wednesday that the Red Sox had sent images of Hanrahan's MRI scans of his flexor tendon to Dr. Andrews as well as Dr. David Altchek to get second and third opinions on whether or not there is structural damage. The initial diagnosis was that there was none, but second opinions exist for a reason: not every first one is perfect and 100 percent accurate. Ask Jacoby Ellsbury about his ribs sometime.

For now, Hanrahan has been shut down and placed on the disabled list in order to rest and recover, in the hopes that it will be enough to remove the inflammation and set him back on the path to health. Given that Hanrahan's elbow is currently discolored and bruised per Edes, thorough examination is a necessary precaution, as it doesn't sound like rest is going to be enough -- hence Dr. Andrews' involvement.

The worst-case scenario, as you surely know, would mean Tommy John surgery and the end of Hanrahan's career in Boston, unless he were to sign some kind of non-roster make-good deal as he worked his way back for 2014. One thing at a time, though.

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