SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Someday they may refer to it as the Michael Maness surgery.Maness, who signed with the Royals last month on a Minor League deal, had a potential ground-breaking surgery last August after he showed symptoms of UCL damage in his right elbow.Instead of opting for Tommy John surgery,
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Someday they may refer to it as the Michael Maness surgery.
Maness, who signed with the Royals last month on a Minor League deal, had a potential ground-breaking surgery last August after he showed symptoms of UCL damage in his right elbow.
Instead of opting for Tommy John surgery, which essentially takes a ligament from somewhere else in the body to replace the damaged UCL, surgeons basically taped his ligament back to the elbow bone.
"I still have my original ligament," Maness said. "They just tacked it back down with a type of surgical tape. It's my ligament and it's just been reinforced."
Not all pitchers with UCL damage will benefit from this technique.
"It's kind of a game-time decision when they open you up," Maness said.
The advantage is in decreased recovery time. Instead of a 12-14 month recovery and rehab, Maness is looking at six to eight months.
Maness hasn't thrown in a Cactus League game yet, but he continues to throw side sessions as he builds arm strength back up.
"Nothing is scheduled yet in terms of throwing in a game," Maness said. "We're working into it. We're going three days off, two days, one day off, just to see how the arm responds. Taking it slow."
If all goes well, Maness could be available to the Royals sometime after Opening Day.
"We'll probably throw in a game towards the end of Spring Training," Maness said. "We don't have a set date. We're not going to rush it."
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.