Zach Britton’s examination in Los Angeles on Monday confirmed what team doctors originally diagnosed last week – a strained muscle in his left forearm and no damage to his elbow ligaments.
Britton saw renowned sports medicine specialist Dr. Neal ElAttrache in California on Monday for a second opinion, and the diagnosis was a strain in the belly of the left forearm muscle, according to an industry source.
There was inflammation around the muscle, but Britton’s UCL ligament in his left elbow was in “perfect condition,” the source said.
That’s a relief for Britton and the Orioles, because forearm injuries can be a precursor to elbow-ligament damage.
ElAttrache has suggested rest for the next 10 days or so before Britton can begin a throwing progression in Sarasota, Fla.
There is no set timetable for his return; that will be determined after Britton begins the throwing program.
Britton was placed on the 10-day disabled list Saturday with a recurrence of the forearm strain that sidelined him from April 16 to May 2.
He said Saturday that he probably rushed back from the injury instead of taking more time to rest the strain. He pitched twice last week before feeling discomfort Friday morning.
Britton, 29, had allowed one run in nine innings this season while converting all five save chances in 2017. He converted all 47 save chances last year and won the 2016 Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award.
Brad Brach is receiving the majority of save opportunities in Britton’s absence.