Tigers’ Riley Greene to undergo elbow surgery: What we know about the injury

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Detroit Tigers outfielder Riley Greene will undergo surgery on his right elbow Wednesday, the team announced Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Tigers placed Greene on the 10-day injured list with elbow inflammation earlier this month after he landed on the elbow while making a diving catch against the Chicago White Sox.
  • The extent of Greene’s injury is expected to be determined during the procedure, Detroit said. The team will provide another update afterward.
  • Greene, 22, batted .288 with 11 home runs over 99 games this season, his second in the league.

The Athletic’s instant analysis:

What it means for Greene, Detroit

The news of surgery will end Greene’s season prematurely and put a damper on what was otherwise an encouraging year for Greene. Greene — the No. 5 pick in the 2019 draft — hit .288 with a .796 OPS this season. He homered 11 times in 99 games. From May 1 on, Greene had been on a tear, hitting .310 with an .864 OPS and quietly emerging as one of the best young hitters in the game. — Stavenhagen

How long will Greene be out?

That part remains to be seen. Doctors are expected to inspect the exact nature of the damage to Greene’s elbow during the procedure, which is scheduled for Wednesday in Dallas. On the Tigers’ latest injury report, the team listed Greene’s procedure as “surgical intervention.” We will likely know more about the exact nature of the surgery in the coming days.

Greene injured his non-throwing elbow Sept. 1 against the White Sox, making a terrific diving catch in left field but also crashing hard to the ground. The team waited for initial inflammation to go down before team doctors were able to do an MRI on Greene’s elbow. Greene then sought multiple outside medical opinions before deciding on surgery. — Stavenhagen

Should there be long-term concern?

Hard to say, but Greene missed time last year with a fracture after fouling a pitch off his foot toward the end of spring training. This season, just as Greene was heating up, he went on the IL and missed about six weeks with a stress fracture in his left fibula. The continued injuries are all unrelated but are nonetheless worrisome for a 22-year-old outfielder who has otherwise shown great potential.

With Parker Meadows now playing center field for the Tigers, a move to the corner outfield spots could bode better for Greene’s body in the long term. But there’s still no way of knowing how Greene will hold up next year and deeper into the future. — Stavenhagen

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(Photo: Sam Navarro / USA Today)

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