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Carl Crawford To Have Tommy John Surgery Thursday

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The Red Sox have announced that outfielder Carl Crawford will undergo Tommy John surgery on his injured left elbow Thursday, ending his season.

The writing has been on the wall for Crawford, particularly for the last couple of days as the team began to acknowledge the likelihood and rumors emerged that Crawford would finally make a firm request to undergo the procedure. Sox GM Ben Cherington had determined that the team would take the opportunity of the day off to sit down and talk the situation out, resulting in the expected announcement.

After a disastrous debut season with the Red Sox, Crawford showed signs of improvement in his short time with the team this year, despite his injury. A .694 OPS in 2011 has increased to .785, peaking at .825 earlier in the month. If nothing else, these improved results can at least give some hope for Crawford entering 2013.

While initial reports suggested a position player would need just 5-6 months to recuperate from the procedure, more recent estimates place a 7-8 month time period for recovery. That would still leave him ready around the beginning of the season, though that assumes all goes well--hardly a given, especially considering how things seem to go with this team and injuries.