The day we all feared has arrived: Johnny Cueto will have Tommy John surgery. Tomorrow, Thursday, in fact. It’ll be in Los Angeles, performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan-Jobe Institute, part of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Dr. ElAttrache is basically the surgeon to the stars, having performed rotator cuff surgery on Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger and repairing Kobe Bryant’s torn Achilles. He also repaired Zack Greinke’s broken collar bone following his fight with Carlos Quentin back in 2013.
“Dr. ElAttrache is the real deal — one of the most talented surgeons I’ve met,” Schwarzenegger said. “He can fix what others say is unfixable. He is the ultimate asset for any athlete who goes to him because they need their bodies to perform at their best, whether it is on a football field or in the movies.”
Surfer Laird Hamilton, who said he would do anything to heal naturally and also had a fear of going under the knife, finally asked ElAttrache to look at “some broken pieces,” as he called them.
”What I like about him was that surgery was his last resort,” Hamilton said, “ He would want to try everything else first. Now, if I have broken pieces, he’s my first call.”
He’s also a close friend of Tom Brady’s and was the doctor who devised the black tape wrap around his thumb before the AFC Championship game back in January. And check out this 5-star review on Google:
So, it sounds like Dr. ElAttrache is the best person for the job. Johnny Cueto is the Giants’ biggest star, entirely because of his charisma. Nobody can hock a hat or pause a windup quite like Cueto. Here’s hoping it’s a success. Unrelated, but related: Dr. ElAttrache’s office is right by one of the two genuine IMAX screens in the Los Angeles area. I highly recommend Cueto go see Mission: Impossible - Fallout before or after the surgery. The two filmed IMAX sequences will wipe away any sadness the surgery might cause.
As for what this means for the Giants, very little has changed: they’re totally boned for this year, and next year they will need a magical emergence by another pitcher to unbone the rotation. As good as Rodriguez and Suarez have been, they lack Cueto’s track record and it remains to be seen how they handle the entire league adjusting to them, to say nothing about their durability.
Here’s his latest Instagram post:
As I said yesterday, given the point in the season when this is all going down, he’ll very likely miss all of 2019 — and that’s if there are zero setbacks. I’m going to be optimistic about a 34-year old pitcher returning from Tommy John surgery. 2020 is a long time from now, but if he comes back in a diminished, but consistent capacity, it won’t be long before it feels like he never left. At least, that’s what I’ll be telling myself for the next year and a half.