MIAMI -- Drew Hutchison will not require Tommy John surgery, but is currently in a no-throw situation for the next four-to-six weeks.
Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos made the announcement on Friday evening in Miami. It was the best-case scenario for Hutchison, who was forced to leave his start on June 15 because of soreness in his right elbow.
The original diagnosis was a sprained ulnar collateral ligament, but there was an initial sense of fear that the damaged ligament could require surgery. That was ruled out after Hutchison went for a second opinion and was later re-evaluated by club doctors in Florida.
"We had our doctors in Florida finally take a look at him," Anthopoulos said. "We sent the tests to Dr. [James] Andrews, and everything was confirmed that it's a sprain. If he's feeling unbelievably well, [he could throw] in four weeks, but it may go to six.
"That being said, if it's six weeks before he throws, then starts up again and get ready, we're probably looking at September. The good part about it is that when you're talking about a UCL, you're usually talking about Tommy John surgery, because you lose a year. In Drew's case, it's not going to happen."
Hutchison had become one of the Blue Jays' most reliable pitchers when he suffered the untimely injury. Before being placed on the DL, he went 4-2 with a 3.41 ERA over his final seven starts, while striking out 32 in 37 innings.
It's another setback for a Blue Jays pitching staff that has been ravaged by injuries, but Friday's announcement came as a positive, because the results could have been a lot more severe if Hutchison needed the surgery.
"Drew did a good job in that he said he wanted to be smart about this," Anthopoulos said. "He didn't feel right, and you often see guys try to throw through things and then hurt themselves way worse. Thankfully he let the trainers know sooner rather than later and possibly avoided something a lot worse."