ATLANTA -- Seranthony Dominguez might pitch again this season after all.
When the Phillies reliever went this week for a second opinion on his injured right elbow, he was sure that noted orthopedist James Andrews would confirm his need for Tommy John surgery -- and the year-long recovery that comes with it. Instead, Dominguez received a platelet-rich plasma injection and a prognosis that he might be able to resume throwing within four to six weeks.
“It is incredibly encouraging news,” manager Gabe Kapler said Friday before the Phillies opened a three-game series against the Braves here at SunTrust Park. “Just the idea that we could have him back and contributing at some point later in the season is comforting. I know it’s comforting for Seranthony. It’s as good a news as we could have hoped to expect.”
Dominguez was lifted in the eighth inning of a June 5 game in San Diego and diagnosed with damage to his ulnar collateral ligament, typically a sign that surgery is required. He said this week that he was “hoping for a miracle” when he traveled to see Andrews on Wednesday.
Kapler said Dominguez will be reevaluated in three weeks. In the best-case scenario, he could resume a throwing program when the Phillies return from the All-Star break.
There’s always a chance that Dominguez doesn’t respond to treatment or suffers a setback during his rehabilitation that would necessitate surgery. If that were to happen, Dominguez would miss most of next season. But the Phillies aren’t thinking about that possibility.
“We’re in a good spot with Seranthony and what we’ll do is speculate on the possibility of him being great for us at some point late in the season,” Kapler said. “As our bullpen pieces start to come back, the knowledge that Seranthony is also in play -- for him and his own development and for what’s best for the Phillies -- is really, really good news.”