Cobb remains in holding pattern with elbow injury

Rays starter weighing options after MRI reveals ligament tear

Cobb remains in holding pattern with elbow injury

ST. PETERSBURG -- Alex Cobb is in a holding pattern after receiving a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection this week to treat the ligament tear in his right elbow. A second MRI on the Ray's 27-year-old right-hander revealed the tear after the prior procedure resulted in a diagnosis of tendinitis.

Cobb hasn't pitched competitively since a Spring Training start against the Phillies on March 17, and his throwing program had to be tabled over the weekend after he reported increased pain in the elbow.

"We're gathering all the information right now and trying to make the best decision with all the information at hand," said Cobb, who allowed that the uncertainty surrounding his condition has been "pretty stressful."

"I was on a good [rehabilitation] path. The pain had subsided, the pitches were coming out well. I was starting to let the ball go, threw some breaking balls and it started not to feel right again," he said.

Despite the original diagnosis, Cobb believed that the source of his elbow pain has been a torn ligament all along.

"It's hard for me to believe [the ligament tear] wasn't there the first time, but from what they read, it was tendinitis from the beginning. The second [MRI] was obviously a much-more detailed one, a more intense one, but I would imagine that it had been there since March 17," said Cobb, who was 10-9 with a 2.87 ERA in 27 starts last year.

"With all of these decisions, it's best to let the player have the most input because it's their career," said Rays manager Kevin Cash. "Obviously, we want him to pitch. We want him to pitch tomorrow, but we have to factor in what he's going through and his future."

Cobb was experiencing discomfort in his elbow prior to the Spring Training outing against the Phillies, and conceded that taking the ball that day was probably not a good idea.

"In hindsight … there was a little pain going into that game and I tried to pitch through it to stay on track for that Opening Day start. The thought of being injured again wasn't something my mind was going to allow me to do," said Cobb, who suffered a concussion last June after being struck by a line drive off the bat of the Royals' Eric Hosmer.

For now, the plan is to rest and ice the affected area, with the goal of reaching a decision on how to proceed within a month.

"The book is written on this kind of process. You try some of the options that are available, whether they're slim hopes or not, but you always try to avoid surgery," Cobb said. "My mindset is hopefully to have this [PRP injection] heal what's going on in there and come back and pitch this year. That's obviously a best-case scenario, but it's where my mindset has to be right now."

Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.