When Max Muncy injured his left elbow on the final day of the regular season, he and the Los Angeles Dodgers deemed it a dislocation along with additional “damage” but maintained a return at some point during the postseason was plausible.
That initially was pegged as potentially being for the National League Championship Series, then the World Series had the Dodgers advanced. In reality, it became evident Muncy was a virtual lock to miss the entire playoffs.
He revealed during an offseason interview with Alanna Rizzo on MLB Network that the full extent of the left elbow injury included tearing the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). Although that is synonymous with Tommy John surgery, Muncy said during Spring Training an operation was never discussed.
There was optimism the 31-year-old was healthy come the start of the 2022 regular season, and he was included on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster. However, Muncy got off to a slow start and now finds himself on the 10-day injured list due to an official designation of left elbow inflammation.
According to Jack Harris of the L.A. Times, Muncy is hopeful his IL stint will not only be beneficial for the injured elbow but also his headspace:
“It just flared up a little bit,” Muncy said. “[Going on the IL will] just give it a chance to calm down. It also happens to come at a good time mentally. Just take a step back, let it heal and come back ready to help this team win going forward.”
On top of fighting an uphill battle to begin with, Muncy aggravated his left elbow during last week’s series at Nationals Park. While playing third base he went after a foul ball and his arm bend into the netting and forearm/elbow area hit a metal door frame.
Muncy was out of the Dodgers lineup for the first two games against the Arizona Diamondbacks as the team mulled a potential move to the IL.
Why doesn’t Max Muncy need Tommy John surgery?
The Dodgers have some recent history with a position player having a torn UCL as Corey Seager underwent Tommy John surgery in April 2018 to end his season. However, unlike Muncy, Seager’s injury was to his throwing arm.
“A lot of medical talk, but something to do with it being my left arm and how the ligaments were laying after being torn and everything like that,” Muncy recently explained of not requiring Tommy John.
“It was really bad news, but it was the best of the bad news you could get. So when I learned that, it was nice to know I wasn’t going to have to have surgery and all that stuff.”
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