O’Flaherty to undergo 'Tommy John' surgery Tuesday

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Braves reliever Eric O’Flaherty is scheduled to undergo ligament-transplant surgery on his elbow Tuesday afternoon.

A visit to Dr. James Andrews on Monday at his clinic in Gulf Breeze, Fla. confirmed that O’Flaherty needed “Tommy John” surgery to repair the tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in his left (pitching) arm. Andrews will perform the surgery.

The typical recovery time is 12 months. O’Flaherty is eligible to become a free agent for the first time in 2014 but it’s possible the Braves would re-sign him.

Three of the Braves top three set-up men are on the disabled list with arm problems, including two who are out for the season because of ligament tears. Jonny Venters underwent “Tommy John” surgery on Thursday. Right-hander Jordan Walden is on the DL with shoulder inflammation but is expected to be ready to return when he’s eligible on May 27.

O’Flaherty has been dealing with elbow pain since last September but thought it was related to a bone spur or a flexor tendon. An MRI taken Saturday revealed the tear.

“When you’re working through pain every day trying to get your body ready, there is a sense of relief that you’re not going to have to deal with that anymore if surgery is what I need and that’s what it’s looking like right now,” O’Flaherty had said on Sunday. “At the same time you never want to hear anything like this.”