LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy got bad news with the results of his MRI on Monday. The right-hander has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, and is out for the season.
The club placed McCarthy on the 15-day disabled list on Monday. He is still talking though his options with doctors, but it seems unavoidable that Tommy John surgery in in McCarthy's future.
"It certainly looks one direction and I don't want to be one of those guys who plays the string out for a few months only to kind of waste everybody's time, myself included," McCarthy said. "If we need to get it done, we'll get it done."
The return timetable if McCarthy has surgery is 14-15 months, essentially putting him out until the 2016 All-Star break.
"You know you're missing a good amount of time, this year and a chunk of next year, but in the back of my mind if I can get back a little before the All-Star break next year, be strong and healthy and fine to go play out the rest of my career, I'll be happy with that," he said.
McCarthy felt something in his elbow in his April 19 start against the Rockies, in which he threw six scoreless innings. But after a relatively normal between-starts routine his elbow didn't limit him. But in his Saturday start against the Padres in San Diego, McCarthy said he felt something in the second inning, but tried to pitch through it.
As things felt progressively worse in his elbow, McCarthy managed to retire 12 straight batters, heading into the sixth inning. After allowing two sharp singles and a home run, McCarthy called for team trainers and was removed from the game.
But even after that, there wasn't much expectation that the injury would be this serious.
"I was expecting him to go on the disabled list today, but we thought more and more it would be tendinitis," manager Don Mattingly said. "He talked about pitching through that last year."
McCarthy said he thought his ligament was fine, too.
"I was obviously disappointed. All the manual tests had come back that the ligament wasn't fired up at all. We even got a false positive when I first saw the doctor," McCarthy said. "He tested it and said the ligament was fine, but then went and looked at the film and found out that it wasn't the case."
McCarthy was 3-0 with a 5.87 ERA in four starts, with 29 strikeouts and four walks in 23 innings, in the first year of a four-year, $48 million contract.