1 of 6 | Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani hit 44 home runs this season. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Angels pitcher-designated hitter Shohei Ohtani underwent surgery on his right elbow and won't pitch again until 2025, Dr. Neal ElAttrache said in a statement.
ElAttrache performed the surgery Tuesday at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles.
"The ultimate plan after deliberations with Shohei was to repair the issue at hand and to reinforce the healthy ligament in place while adding viable tissue for the longevity of the elbow," El Attrache said in a statement released by Ohtani's agent, Nez Balelo.
"I expect full recovery and he'll be ready to hit without any restrictions come opening day of 2024 and do both hit and pitch come 2025."
Ohtani, who is set to hit free agency this off-season, sustained a torn ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow Aug. 23. He stopped pitching at that point. He tweaked his oblique muscle Sept. 4 at batting practice. He last played in a Sept. 3 loss to the Oakland Athletics.
On Saturday, the Angels placed Ohtani on the 10-day injured list for an oblique injury, ending his season.
The 2021 American League MVP hit a career-high .304 with 44 home runs, 95 RBIs and 20 stolen bases this season. He leads the American League in home runs, walks (91), on-base percentage (.412) and total bases (325). He also leads MLB with a .654 slugging percentage, 1.066 OPS, 184 OPS+ and 21 intentional walks.
Ohtani went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 23 starts as a pitcher. His .182 batting average against is second-best among pitchers with more than 10 starts this season.
"I had a procedure done on my elbow earlier [Tuesday] and everything went very well," Ohtani said in a statement on Instagram.
"Thank you very much for everyone's prayers and kind words. It was very unfortunate that I couldn't finish out the year on the field, but I will be rooting on the boys until the end. I will work as hard as I can and do my best to come back on the diamond stronger than ever."
Ohtani remains the favorite to win American League MVP honors. He is still expected to be the top free agent on the market.
The Angels (68-83) will face the Tampa Bay Rays (93-59) at 6:40 p.m. EDT Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Fla.