LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy recently told MLB Network sources that the extent of his elbow injury is much worse than many had initially thought.
In an interview with MLB Network, Muncy disclosed that he actually has a torn ligament in his left elbow:
“I’m not recovering as quick as I would like, but that’s what happens when you do some serious damage to your body. A torn UCL is a slow process.”
This is the first indication to the public as far as the actual status of Muncy’s injury, outside of the previous listing of elbow injury.
The injury occurred on October 3 in the final game of the Dodgers regular season, when a throw led Muncy just into the runner’s path at first base, Muncy’s arm – extended to catch the ball – was hit as Jace Peterson of the Milwaukee Brewers ran through the bag. Muncy was immediately thrown to the floor, and he could be seen writhing in pain as medical professionals rushed the field to tend to the 31-year-old.
Muncy was declared out for the playoffs following the game, a big piece that the Dodgers clearly missed in October play.
The UCL, formally known as the ulnar collateral ligament, is traditionally the ligament that requires the dreadful “Tommy John” surgery when torn.
Despite the gravity of the injury, it did not occur to Muncy’s throwing arm, and he is undergoing alternative methods while he’s on the mend.
While it may not immediately affect his throwing motion, the injury will likely hamper Muncy’s swing for the foreseeable future.
Traditionally, UCL injuries can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to recover – when surgery isn’t required. When surgery is required, the recovery time can range from nine months to a full year.
There are no speculations as to when he’s due to be fully recovered, but he’s obviously itching to get back on the diamond. Muncy is widely regarded as one of the most competitive and fiery players on the Dodgers roster, when asked how it felt to watch his team advance through the playoffs as he watched from the dugout, he indicated the toll it took on him mentally:
“I think that was one of the hardest things I had to go through in my career. It’s very frustrating to watch it and not be able to be out there with the guys.”
Muncy has been a centerpiece for the Dodgers over recent seasons, beginning in 2018 when he put together his first full seasons in the big leagues. He hit .263 with 35 home runs and 79 runs driven in that year.
He followed up with a strong showing in 2019, where he was named to his first All-Star Game, hitting 35 home runs and driving in 98 runs, while batting .251.
Muncy was a crucial part of the Dodgers World Series Championship in 2020 as he came up with countless clutch moments at the plate – most notably his first inning grand slam in NLCS Game 3, which sparked a 15 run onslaught, leading the Dodgers to their first win of that series.
2021 was one of Muncy’s best years yet, as he hit a career-high 36 home runs – finishing 10th in the National League MVP voting and getting named to his second All-Star Game.
This news comes as part of a tough day for Dodgers fans, who watched superstar pitcher Max Scherzer sign a three-year deal with the New York Mets, and longtime shortstop and fan-favorite Corey Seager sign a 10-year deal with the Texas Rangers.