Andrew Painter Diagnosed with UCL Sprain
The Philadelphia Phillies are just two weeks into spring training competition, yet their top prospect is already injured. On Friday, it was announced that top prospect Andrew Painter will miss time with a UCL Sprain.
The announcement came after a week full of speculation and fear from the fanbase. Despite the scary situation, the organization and Painter stayed strong throughout and have not appeared to be worried.
On March 2nd, it was announced that Painter was feeling some arm soreness. This caused Painter to get an MRI on the 3rd. The MRI revealed a right proximal UCL sprain.
Before hitting the panic button, Painter and the Phillies opted for more opinions on the injury. For a second opinion, Painter went to Dr. Neal ElAttrache who confirmed the sprain. The sprain means that the UCL was stretched and damaged somewhat. While the news is negative that Painter is only 19 and is already experiencing UCL stretching, it could be worse as the UCL is the ligament repaired during Tommy John surgery.
The sprain means that Painter will be shut down for four weeks. After waiting a week to release the information to the public, the clock is now down to just three weeks. After the four weeks, Painter will do some light tossing. He will have to work himself up again to live to pitch so he will likely not pitch in a game until May.
If the UCL is not repaired through rehab, Painter will be required to undergo Tommy John surgery, pushing his career back likely until 2025.
The Painter injury means that Bailey Falter will take the 5th rotation spot for the majority of the season. While this is a setback for the young prospect, it is smart to take it slow with him and make sure every injury is monitored closely because of his young age.