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Pablo Sandoval will have Tommy John surgery

This is not the news anyone was hoping for.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Injury news is never fun, and this is far from an exception. San Francisco Giants corner infielder, exuberant pinch-hitter, and occasional relief pitcher Pablo Sandoval will undergo Tommy John surgery in the coming weeks.

Sandoval is currently on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to August 11, so well past the 10 days) due to “elbow inflammation”. He’s been dealing with pain in his right elbow since 2013, due to bone chips, but this time things got a fair bit worse, and the ulnar collateral ligament will require surgical repair.

The damage and pain to the right elbow keeps Sandoval from being able to throw or bat right-handed. But he’s still potentially able to bat left-handed. As a result, the Giants are considering activating him for a final at-bat, something Sandoval and Bruce Bochy would both very much like to see, and the fans surely would as well.

Tommy John surgery and the ensuing rehab is a long and arduous process, but it’s worth noting that recovery is a bit quicker for a position player than for a pitcher. Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani returned to his position player duties in early May of this year, after undergoing surgery on October 1.

That was perhaps a rare exception, but still: Sandoval will likely be back on the field next year.

Where Sandoval will be when he returns is another story. He’d certainly be safest in the American League, where he can be a designated hitter, but it’s also clear that his heart, like so many people’s, is in San Francisco. We’ll see if the organization views things similarly.

This is a bummer of a situation all around, as Sandoval had finally rejuvenated his career, and was playing exciting, valuable baseball for the Giants.

Here’s hoping the recovery goes smoothly, and that this isn’t goodbye.