(Reuters) - Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford will miss the rest of the Major League Baseball (MLB) season because of Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery scheduled for later this week, the team said on Monday.
The left-hander, who missed the first 89 games this season while recovering from surgery on his left wrist, will undergo the procedure on Thursday to repair a tear in his left ulnar collateral ligament.
"He's got a chronic UCL injury that we were trying to manage conservatively," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told reporters. "Symptoms did increase the last few days ... and we've decided to get it taken care of.
"It became clear over the last few days that surgery was going to happen, it was just a question of when."
Tommy John surgery is named after a former MLB pitcher who was the first professional athlete to successfully undergo the operation in 1974.
Crawford, 31, who is batting .282 with three homers and 19 RBIs after playing just 31 games for Boston this season, had suffered increasing pain in his left elbow, especially while throwing.
"He played through the injury and played pretty well," Cherington said. "But the symptoms, it wasn't getting better. The symptoms were getting worse.
"We just decided not to ask him to keep going out there. We decided to take care of it now and he agreed with that.
"We've got to be sure that we're doing the right thing for him and ultimately for the team, too. This is not a short-term investment."
With 40 games left in the regular season, the Red Sox trail the American League East-leading New York Yankees by 13-and-a-half games, and lie seven-and-a-half games adrift in the league's wild card standings.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Patrick Johnston)
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