Japanese baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani underwent surgery to repair his injured elbow on Tuesday, with a top sports injury surgeon stating that the Los Angeles Angels ace will be ready to hit and pitch again in 2025.
Ohtani has not pitched since being diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right elbow last month, and has since been shut down for the remainder of the regular season after suffering a side strain.
"Shohei had his procedure this morning at Kerlan & Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles," Ohtani's agent Nez Balelo said in a statement on Tuesday.
"The final decision and type of procedure was made with a heavy emphasis on the big picture. Shohei wanted to make sure the direction taken gave him every opportunity to hit and pitch for many years to come."
Los Angeles surgeon Neal ElAttrache, who last week operated on Aaron Rodgers after the New York Jets quarterback ruptured his Achilles tendon, performed the procedure on Tuesday.
ElAttrache said Ohtani would be fit in time to hit for the start of the 2024 season, and would be able to hit and pitch by 2025.
"The ultimate plan, after deliberation with Shohei, was to repair the issue at hand and to reinforce the healthy ligament in place while adding viable tissue for the longevity of the elbow," ElAttrache said.
"I expect full recovery and he'll be ready to hit without any restrictions come opening day of 2024 and (hit and pitch) come 2025."
Ohtani meanwhile vowed to make a full recovery after saying the procedure "went very well."
"I will work as hard as I can and do my best to come back on the diamond stronger than ever," he wrote on Instagram.
Ohtani's future has been shrouded in uncertainty since his elbow injury, with the star entering free agency at the end of the season.
The 29-year-old is expected to be the subject of a frenzied bidding war during the off-season with several clubs expected to make a run to land his signature.
Ohtani, described as the best two-way threat since Babe Ruth, had been enjoying a stellar season, smashing 44 home runs while boasting a 3.14 ERA from the mound with 167 strikeouts from 132 innings.