Spencer Strider avoids Tommy John surgery, but will still miss the rest of 2024 season

Braves fans got news they were dreading Saturday morning, but it wasn't worst case scenario for Spencer Strider
Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves
Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Braves have been mum on what the next course of action would be for their ace, Spencer Strider, ever since it was announced he had damage to his UCL last week. On Saturday morning, the team finally gave their answer. The 25-year-old hurler wil undergo surgery and will miss the rest of the 2024 season.

Strider underwent season-ending internal brace surgery, which gives Strider a slightly shorter recovery route than traditional Tommy John surgery. Tommy John surgery's recovery time is typically 12-18 months, while the internal brace surgery's expected recovery time is 9-12 months. The internal brace surgery is a newer operation, with only 43 players (including Strider) getting it since 2016.

What's next for Spencer Strider and the Braves?

By getting internal brace surgery, Strider could now pitch with the Braves big league squad next April, as opposed to returning during summertime had he gotten Tommy John.

Spencer Strider also avoids his second Tommy John surgery by going the internal brace route. Pitchers with two Tommy John surgeries generally have a more difficult time returning to formwith a success rate of roughly 50%.

While missing the remainder of the season is disappointing for the team and fans, this is not the worst-case scenario we feared. Lucas Giolito, who underwent internal brace surgery last month, said, “The way it’s been explained to me is that the brace has a very high rate of recovery compared to getting a second Tommy John.”

Of course, the Braves are now without their Opening Day starter for the remainder of the season. The squad has several internal options that could replace Strider's spot in the rotation, although, of course, none of them come close to the projected productivity of the 25-year-old 2023 All-Star. The Braves could also look to replace Strider externally.

By getting surgery now, not only does Strider have the best chance of returning early next season, but it also gives the Braves plenty of time to find an adequate replacement.

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