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Royals' Soria out for year with injury

Kansas City Royals pitcher Joakim Soria, shown in a 2008 file photo, will have season-ending elbow surgery, the team said Friday. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt)
Kansas City Royals pitcher Joakim Soria, shown in a 2008 file photo, will have season-ending elbow surgery, the team said Friday. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt) | License Photo

SURPRISE, Ariz., March 23 (UPI) -- Kansas City relief pitcher Joakim Soria decided to undergo elbow surgery that will force him to miss the 2012 season, the Royals said Friday.

Soria, 27, left the game Sunday with right elbow discomfort. A subsequent examination determined the problem to be a ligament issue.

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Dr. Lewis Yocum is scheduled to perform so-called Tommy John surgery on Soria April 2. Tommy John surgery involves replacing a ligament in the elbow with one from another part of the body.

Doctors estimate rehabilitation from such procedures takes 9-12 months.

Soria had a previous reconstructive elbow procedure in 2003 when he was a minor leaguer in the Los Angeles Dodgers' organization.

Soria, who has been selected as an American league all-star twice, has 160 saves, a 13-15 record and 2.40 earned run average in five seasons in Kansas City.

The Royals are looking at either Jonathan Broxton or Greg Holland to take over Soria's closer role.

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