Kaprielian has flexor tendon strain in right elbow

Yankees prospect to visit with orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache

Kaprielian has flexor tendon strain in right elbow

NEW YORK -- Touted right-hander James Kaprielian has been diagnosed with a flexor tendon strain of his pitching elbow and is scheduled to be evaluated by noted orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache within the next week.

Kaprielian, currently on the Minor League disabled list, has been experiencing recurring discomfort in his pitching elbow. He was examined by Yankees team physician Christopher Ahmad at New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Tuesday.

"His ligament is fine, it's the flexor muscle that he injured while he was coming back," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after the club's 7-1 loss to the Rangers. "Both times that he's had the MRIs, we've been told the ligament is fine. Some people think the flexor can be a precursor [to Tommy John surgery]. I haven't figured this thing out. It happens so often in this game. I just haven't figured it out. I hope not and I hope he gets better."

The Yankees' No. 1 selection in the 2015 Draft (16th overall), Kaprielian received a $2.65 million signing bonus and has been rated as the team's No. 4 prospect by MLBPipeline.com.

Kaprielian, 22, impressed the big league coaching staff during Spring Training this year but has been limited to three starts this season with Class A Advanced Tampa, where he is 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA.

He has not pitched since April 21 due to what was described at the time as a sore elbow, and the Yankees said then that the results of an MRI were encouraging, showing no ligament damage. Kaprielian has been following a rest and rehab program at the team's complex in Tampa, Fla.

Kaprielian recently spoke to MLB.com about his injury, saying that the last several weeks have been "frustrating."

"It's tough that I have to sit and watch every day, especially when you want to get out there and throw the ball," Kaprielian said. "You put in a lot of work and time and dedication into your craft and stuff, and I just want be there and be able to support the guys around me and my team."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. 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.