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Capuano opts against surgery for now

Capuano opts against surgery

MESA, Ariz. -- The second opinion on Brewers left-hander Chris Capuano's injured elbow was different from the first, so Capuano apparently will opt for rehab instead of surgery.

William Raasch, the Brewers' head physician, read an MRI scan on Sunday, diagnosed Capuano with a torn ulnar collateral ligament and recommended that Capuano undergo the second Tommy John surgery of his career, a procedure that replaces the torn ligament with a tendon from a different part of the body and requires about a year of rehabilitation.

But James Andrews, the orthopedist who performed Capuano's first Tommy John surgery in 2002, did an MRI scan of his own this week in Birmingham, Ala., and recommended against surgery, at least for now. Andrews recommended that Capuano try rehabbing the elbow for three to four weeks.

"If, after that time, he is still experiencing discomfort, [Andrews] would recommend at the very least exploratory surgery," Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash wrote in an e-mail.

Capuano will be placed on the disabled list and will report back to Maryvale Baseball Park for rehab with physical therapist Kenny Patterson's staff.

On Sunday, a discouraged Capuano met with reporters after receiving Raasch's recommendation and seemed resigned to surgery. The success rate of successfully rehabbing a torn ligament, Ash said, was only 20-25 percent.

"I want to have someone else look at it, someone else tell me that I need to do this," Capuano said at the time.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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