There are a couple of mechanisms of injury for a UCL tear, with the majority of incidences are a gradual wear and tear as a result of throwing a # of pitches over a career. The other way the injury occurs is one traumatic pitch; from the quotes I have read and seen, along with the sudden increase in edema after his last start, would lead me to believe that it did occur in his last start versus a gradual wear and tear. Either way, it doesn't change the rehabilitation or the surgery. A completely torn UCL is a completely torn UCL, and needs to be repaired surgically if the player wants to return to prior level of function.
So why are we talking about this if there is nothing that is going to change? Some people will say, "People come back and throw harder after Tommy John, this isn't such a bad thing for Mejia."
|Hyperabduction; you should be able to see his arm, not for it to be behind him|
|Since he's not utilizing his front side, he's putting all the stress on his shoulder and elbow.|
Mejia has electric stuff, and has a chance to be a front-line starter if he can healthy. But this will delay is potential impact as a major starter from 2012 to 2013 at the earliest (it's a 12 month recovery, but he will not be ready to contribute at the major league level right at that 12 month mark).
Good luck, get the surgery done sooner rather than later (with Dr. Altchek), and work hard through the rehab Mr. Mejia. If you have any questions, just let me know.