Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
By Gary R. Rasberry
Surgery to end Luebke's season
After a solid start to the 2012 Major League Baseball season, Cory Luebke's season is over.
The San Diego Padres' left-handed pitcher will undergo surgery on Wednesday to replace a torn Ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his pitching elbow.
The procedure will be done by Dr. Lewis Yocum of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles.
After pitching six innings on April 27 in a win over San Francisco, Luebke felt discomfort in his left elbow. What was thought to be just a missed start turned into Luebke being placed on the 15-day Disabled List retroactive to April 28 to see if surgery would be needed or if an extended rehabilitation process could alleviate the pain.
"There wasn't one clear-cut way to go with it," said Luebke via telephone on Monday afternoon. "The way it tore, it tore down the middle, so it wasn't like it was splitting from one end to another."
In the end, surgery became the likely option, something confirmed when the Padres transferred Luebke to the 60-day Disabled List, which would allow San Diego to add a player to the 40-man roster without having to remove a player.
"We had a few opinions. I talked to some coaches and a lot of players who have been through it," said Luebke. "We've gone through it (surgery now vs. rehab then surgery). It pretty much came down to without getting (surgery) done, the risk of me being able to pitch the way I want to pitch, bouncing back and being 100 percent, just all pointed towards surgery being done.
"(Rehab) was something we talked about. Putting together a couple of different rehab programs, everything pointed to me, either way, not making a start until July or August of this year. The way the ligaments were damaged, it wasn't something that was going to heal itself. It was just the matter of we'd be able to rehab everything around it - the flexor tendons and everything around it - to take the pressure off it. One of the MRI's showed that the ligament stretched out in my elbow separated quite a bit."
Luebke came up big in his last three starts of the season, going 3-0 with a 1.29 earned run average. He was 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched this season.
The procedure is better known as "Tommy John surgery", after the former MLB pitcher who first had the process done in the 1970s. The surgery uses a tendon from another part of the body, or from a cadaver, and it is used to replace the damaged ligament.
Luebke will miss the rest of this season and the start of next season. Full rehabilitation is expected to take a full year, with no throwing taking place for 16 weeks after the surgery. That would result, provided there are no setbacks, a return in May of 2013.
The good news is that the rate for a complete recovery is fairly solid.
"I fall into that 85 percentile that make it back," said Luebke. "We looked at the rehab (option), how long would I have to stay healthy? Everything pointed to where if I don't get it done, it's going to happen (surgery) eventually.
"This team is going to be getting better every year," said Luebke. "I would have regretted not getting it done in say a year or two from now when we were playing well and I was pitching well for it to go then. This team has been hit by the injury bug a bit (13 Padres' players have spent time on the DL this season). It gives me an opportunity to get it done and get healthy to be able to pitch most of next year."
Additional online stories for this date
Print and E-Edition only stories for this date
• Governor Kasich pushes for a better Ohio
• Finger-licking good time had by all
• Board rejects principal's wish to retire-rehire
• New AD may coach one year
• School may develop outdoor classroom
• Graduation set for Sunday for Fort Recovery seniors
• American Legion votes against lease to marina
• Huelsman to coach Redskins' girls team
• Wildcats ready to make regional debut
• Lakers' baseball team lands a pair of Coldwater commitments
• St. Henry to party on its 175th birthday
• Grand Lake area offers recreational opportunities
• Sprints, mods, stocks at Eldora
• Tradition planted in strawberry festival
• Picnic features games, music
• Mendon festival to include inflatables
• Festival goers may win prizes
• Contests, food and rides on agenda
• New features added to Chickasaw picnic
• Zuma Days offers free train rides
• Community Days adds new attractions
• Maria Stein Country Fest marks twenty-fifth anniversary
• Regional bands kicks off Freedom Days
• Village picnic features favorites
• Taste of Celina returns
• Car to be raffled at IC Picnic
• Old-time Chatt picnic set in July
• Lake Festival keeping with tradition
• Burkettsville Community Picnic plans food, games
• Golf courses
• Tractor pull set for two nights
• Popular events return to Fireman's Picnic
• Auglaize County Fair offering daily deals at the gate
• U.S. 127 garage sale
• Pageant kicks off Summerfest
• Community picnic raises funds for park
• Sites to visit
• British music, rodeo add to Mercer fair
• Variety of lodgings welcome visitors to area
• Coldwater softball tournament will raise money for MDA
• Mariners games set for summer
• Bremenfest to bring new ride company, animals
• Regatta to bring boats to lake
• Bean Bake to feature re-enactors
• Pumpkins will fly high
• St. Joe Homecoming to include Mass, music, food, games
• Minster to celebrate German heritage with food, music, fun
Tuesday, July 26
Sunday, July 24
Saturday, July 23
Saturday, July 23
Saturday, July 23
Friday, July 22
Friday, July 22