This afternoon, Fernando Tatis Jr. made the announcement that he will have surgery on his left shoulder. The Padres star has already been suspended for the remainder of the 2022 campaign after Tatis tested positive for the illegal performance-enhancing substance Clostebol earlier this month. According to AJ Cassavell of MLB.com, the surgery, which will take place soon, is not anticipated to keep Tatis out of action longer than his suspension.
It’s a shocking development because there had been no prior indication that surgery was being considered once more. Tatis missed the bare minimum of ten days in April and an additional two weeks in August last season after twice being placed on the IL due to shoulder problems.
Tatis was hurt while playing baseball both times—the first time while swinging and the second time while sliding into a base. He appeared to be in danger of having to miss a lot of time with both injuries, but each time he came back quickly.
The franchise has always thought that Tatis having shoulder surgery is the best approach to keep him on the field. The 23-year-old missed many games in 2021 because of the multiple dislocations he suffered. Each of those dislocations increased the likelihood of future recurrences a little. That worry would be allayed by surgery.
“Moving forward, it looks like I’m going to have surgery on my shoulder,” Tatis said. “I feel like I’m going to be spending a good amount of time here in San Diego during the offseason. I feel like we have a really good plan moving forward.”
The healing period for such a procedure lasts between four and six months. The franchise is confident Tatis will be fully recovered and prepared to play when his season debuts in 2023, even if he will miss the opening few weeks of the season while serving his suspension.
Tatis might even be ready to go for the start of Spring Training, according to manager Bob Melvin. He announced that he will get the procedure done “ASAP,” stating that his change of heart was largely influenced by the rehabilitation games he played last summer.
“How I was feeling a little bit, coming back, I wasn’t the best version out there,” Tatis said. “A couple games, it got in the way. I was thinking and not diving headfirst, not doing my stereotypical movement. I feel like when I come back and start everything all over, I need to be 100 percent so I can do what I know how to do.”