Nathan undergoes Tommy John surgery, begins rehab

Closer's season over after four pitches, but he intends to return to Majors

Nathan undergoes Tommy John surgery, begins rehab

Joe Nathan underwent Tommy John surgery and flexor repair on Wednesday. The closer confirmed the news via text message on Thursday, the first day of his rehab.

"Everything went very well," Nathan said.

Dr. Keith Meister performed the surgery in Texas, and the Detroit Free Press first reported the surgery took place.

The surgery came exactly a week after Nathan left his rehab appearance at Triple-A Toledo with a severe elbow injury, later revealed to be tears of the ulnar collateral ligament and the flexor pronator. The surgery ended his 2015 season after four pitches, a one-out save on Opening Day against the Twins. At age 40, Nathan's career is also in serious question, but he said he will rehab with the intention of a comeback attempt.

"Already back in there doing some exercises," Nathan said.

Given the procedure, Nathan said he's unlikely to pick up a ball for eight months, which puts the start of next season likely out of range for him. Still, he wants to give it a shot. Most likely, Nathan will be able to pick his spot as a free agent, as his two-year contract with the Tigers will expire after this season. Detroit holds a $10 million option for 2016, which it can buy out for $1 million.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.