Tanaka undergoes surgery to remove bone spur

Yankees right-hander expected to be ready for Spring Training

Tanaka undergoes surgery to remove bone spur

NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka had arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday to remove a bone spur in his pitching elbow and is expected to be ready for the start of Spring Training, the Yankees announced.

The club said that the bone spur was pre-existing, dating back to his pitching career in Japan. The procedure was performed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and was completed as expected.

Tanaka, 26, went 12-7 with a 3.51 ERA in 24 regular season starts this past year, his second in the Majors, and he started for the Yankees in the American League Wild Card game against the Astros.

Tanaka's solid start

The Yanks' Opening Day starter, Tanaka's 0.99 WHIP led the American League and was the sixth lowest in the Majors (min. 150 IP). Among AL pitchers with at least 150 innings pitched, Tanaka's .221 opponent batting average was fifth lowest.

It was a season that calmed many of the Yankees' concerns following a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament that interrupted Tanaka's 2014 campaign and seemed to threaten the possibility of Tommy John surgery in his future.

"I think he answered that, and I think he showed that that was not an issue during the course of the season," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said earlier this month.

Tanaka did serve a stint on the disabled list beginning in late April for right wrist tendinitis and a right forearm strain.

The typical recovery time for a bone spur removal procedure includes six weeks of exercise and strengthening, followed by a throwing program.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.