Braves’ Venters tries new surgeon for third Tommy John

Braves left-hander Jonny Venters decided to try a different surgeon for his third Tommy John surgery.

Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache repaired the ulnar collateral ligament in Venters’ elbow last week in Los Angeles. Dr. James Andrews had performed Tommy John surgery on Venters in 2005 and 2013 and also had administered two rounds of platelet rich plasma injections.

“I spoke with a few other doctors and there are different procedures, different ways that doctors do the surgery,” Venters said in the Braves clubhouse Tuesday. “In my mind I thought it would be worth a shot to maybe try someone who does a different procedure. Dr. Andrews, he is still The Man, and I’m grateful for what he’s done for me. I wasn’t upset or anything like that with what he did. I thought just trying something different would be worth a shot.”

Dr. ElAttrache also performed the procedure on Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy this year. It was Beachy’s second Tommy John surgery.

Venters said he would be in a cast for a week before getting a brace and beginning range of motion exercises. The recovery time from Tommy John is typically at least a year. Venters said there isn’t much research on pitchers who’ve had the procedure three times.

Venters, 29, hasn’t pitched since the 2012 season.

“It’s fairly uncharted territory,” Venters said.

Jason Isringhausen is one the few pitchers to return to the majors after undergoing his third Tommy John surgery. He had his third procedure in 2009 at age 36 and appeared in 103 games from 2011-2012 before retiring.

Venters said he’s talked to Isringhausen about the experience.

“He gave me some advice about the things he did the third time and what he helped him do it the third time,” Venters said. “It’s obviously a plus when you know someone that’s been there and done that. We will see. I will definitely do some things different. It will be a slow process.”

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