Tom Gordon's season is finished.
Gordon visited orthopedist Lewis Yocum on Tuesday, and he agreed with team physician Michael Ciccotti's diagnosis. Gordon has an injury to his ulnar collateral ligament, an injury to the flexor pronator muscle on the inside of the elbow, irritation to his ulnar nerve and a small piece of bone that has pulled away from his medial epicondyle.
"That's really the biggest thing," athletic trainer Scott Sheridan said of the bone injury. "Unfortunately, that bony piece is attached to the ligament and the tendon."
Gordon had two options: surgery or rehab. He has chosen rehab. He will be in a brace and will see Ciccotti again in three weeks, which means there's almost no chance he can pitch again this season.
"You never want to say you can't, but I would say that it's highly unlikely that you're going to see Tom Gordon pitch this year for us," Sheridan said. "The good thing is right now that he feels really good. ... It's not really uncommon. These are certain things that happen sometimes to players. When you think about the bone pulling off, I know that sounds kind of odd, but that actually happens sometimes. It's not the best-case scenario. It certainly isn't the norm. But at the same time the hard part about this is that piece of bone is not that big. So it's not like you can just take a screw and fix it like a fracture. And you can't take a little pin and just put it in there because you don't know if you're going to get stability out of it. So the best thing to do might be just to let it kind of scar back over and see what happens to it."
If Gordon had surgery, it would be Tommy John surgery in nature, meaning it would take about a year to fully recover. Gordon is in the final year of a three-year, $18 million contract. The Phillies have a $4.5 million club option with a $1 million buyout. You'd have to expect the Phillies to take the buyout at this point.