Jasson Dominguez injury update: Yankees star prospect out for year with torn elbow ligament

A disappointing 2023 season for the Yankees keeps getting worse. 

Jasson Dominguez was scratched from Sunday’s contest with the Brewers, and after the game, manager Aaron Boone said the team’s top prospect had a torn UCL, ending his season and making it unlikely he’ll be ready for the start of the 2024 campaign. 

“Crushed for him. At the same time, he’s a young man and these things resolve themselves so it’s a moment of time in the grand scheme of things in what we feel like has the chance to be a long, excellent career. It’s about taking care of it now,” Boone said after the game.

“Unfortunately you have tough things happen all the time. This is something he should completely recover and bounce back from, but in the moment, you’re crushed for the kid. But he’ll have great support and he’s, we’ve seen how he handles everything, he’s even handling this well as you might expect and he’ll be fine with it. He’s going to come out of this better and stronger and we’ll all support him the whole way.”

MORE: Agent says Shohei Ohtani faces ‘inevitable procedure’ on elbow

The team’s top prospect nicknamed, “The Martian,” Dominguez has had an impressive start to his big league career. In eight games in the majors, he posted a slash of .258/.303/.677 with four home runs and a stolen base. He walked 6.1 percent of the time with strikeouts coming in 24.2 percent of his plate appearances.

Here’s everything you need to know about Dominguez’s injury.

Jasson Dominguez injury update

Dominguez has torn the UCL in his right elbow, an injury that will end his season. 

“Had some soreness Sunday in Houston, the last game, but I don’t think he thought that much of it,” Boone said. “Started getting treatment on Wednesday, but still wasn’t anything impacting him really and then today when he was doing his BP and his routine and he was swinging, he couldn’t pop the ball or really hit it hard. So we brought him up and he went and got testing during the game and he’s got a torn UCL.”

When a player is revealed to have a torn UCL, Tommy John surgery is typically announced later as the treatment needed to resolve the injury. Batters have quicker turnarounds from Tommy John surgeries than pitchers, with Bryce Harper and Shohei Ohtani being the two most recent examples of batters to return quicker from the procedure than their pitching counterparts.

Ohtani was diagnosed with a torn UCL in August, and he has continued to bat in 2023, exclusively slotting in as the designated hitter. However, the Yankees will pull the plug on Dominguez immediately.

“The plan is to go through surgery as soon as possible,” he told reporters

Boone suggested Dominguez will be back in action in nine to 10 months, a timetable that would keep him sidelined for at least the first two months of the 2024 season depending on how he responds during the rehab process. 

MORE: Explaining history, recovery time for Tommy John surgery

What is the ulnar collateral ligament?

Per Johns Hopkins, the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is a tissue on the inside of the elbow that connects the humerus and the ulna. 

Does a UCL tear always mean Tommy John surgery?

A UCL tear does not always mean that someone needs to undergo Tommy John surgery, though it is often required based on the severity.

Some players will have platelet-rich plasma injections for partial tears. According to the Center for Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, PRP injections involve taking the patient’s blood and isolating a platelet rich solution that is then injected into the ligament to try and accelerate healing. It is noted that the surgery is used often for “minor UCL tears.”

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