Pirates’ Taillon to miss ’20 season after TJ surgery

Jameson Taillon has suffered another major setback.

The Pirates’ ace underwent flexor tendon repair surgery on Tuesday, and during the procedure, it was determined Taillon also needed Tommy John surgery. Dr. David Altchek performed both surgeries in New York City.

Taillon is not projected to return to full competition until the 2021 season. Taillon, the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft, also had Tommy John surgery in 2014.

Taillon, 27, made just seven starts this season, going 2-3 with a 4.10 ERA. Last season he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA. In 2017, Taillon missed five weeks of the season after surgery for testicular cancer but finished the year with an 8-7 record and a 4.44 ERA. In late July, Taillon experienced a setback in his return from his right elbow flexor tendon strain. Throwing from 90 feet, he began to feel pain again, and his throwing program got halted.

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Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk addressed reporters in Anaheim via conference Wednesday. He shed some light on why the team waited so long for the flexor tendon repair surgery since it revealed that Taillon needed the Tommy John procedure.

“You always want to avoid surgery,” Tomczyk said. “Numerous experts around the country examined him. These are surgeons that have seen the most amount of forearm and elbow injuries. The surgeons all collaborated in their examinations and reviewed the images several times. The recommendations were to continue with conservative care.”

The visiting clubhouse was noticeably quiet at Angel Stadium as several players processed the news on Taillon.

Not having Taillon is a bitter pill for the Pirates to swallow. But they can’t dwell on it. Searage realizes that. “We move on,” Searage said. “The next guy has to step up. Somebody is going to an opportunity to see if they can help us get to where we want to go.”

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