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Nova to have season-ending Tommy John surgery

BOSTON -- Ivan Nova has decided to have Tommy John surgery to repair a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, making the Yankees right-hander the latest in a long line of hurlers who have opted for the procedure this season. Noted sports orthopedist Dr. James Andrews will perform Nova's procedure on Tuesday in Birmingham, Ala., the Yankees announced on Thursday.

"I think it's the right decision," manager Joe Girardi said. "I haven't really seen anyone rehab a partially torn ligament and have success. It seems what it does is just delay the inevitable of what's going to happen. Then instead of maybe missing a year and a little bit of time, you miss a couple of years."

The 27-year-old Nova was seen earlier this week by team physician Christopher Ahmad in New York, where an MRI arthrogram confirmed the original diagnosis of a partial tear. Andrews and Ahmad both recommended surgery.

The recovery time for Tommy John surgery is approximately 12-18 months, knocking Nova out of action for the rest of this year as well as the beginning of the 2015 campaign.

Nova sustained the injury during an April 19 start against the Rays at Tropicana Field and has been replaced by left-hander Vidal Nuno in the rotation. Nova was 2-2 with an 8.27 ERA in four starts for New York this season.

Girardi said that he spoke to Nova on Wednesday about his situation.

"I think it's the way he was leaning," Girardi said. "Obviously it's difficult to go through, but a lot of times they come back stronger."


Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.
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