Yankees RHP Chamberlain has torn elbow ligament

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NEW YORK (AP) - Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain has a torn ligament in his right elbow, a startling injury that’s likely to require Tommy John surgery and end his season.

A test Thursday morning revealed the tear. It came a day after New York put Chamberlain on the 15-day disabled list with a stiff elbow, the latest setback for the back of the Yankees’ bullpen.

But Chamberlain and the Yankees said they had no idea the injury was so severe when he went for the additional checkup. Chamberlain said he was “kind of in shock” and shed a few tears at the diagnosis, and said he didn’t know how or when he hurt himself.

“I know I can get surgery and get it fixed,” he said.

The Yankees said they would send reports on Chamberlain to noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews. Chamberlain, Andrews and the Yankees plan to discuss the condition before deciding on a course of action.

While Chamberlain spoke on the Yankees bench before Thursday night’s game against Boston, his father sat in his wheelchair outside the New York dugout.

Harlan Chamberlain said it was “kind of a foregone conclusion” his son would need Tommy John surgery, in which a ligament is reconstructed in an elbow. The recovery time is usually listed as 12 to 18 months, though Harlan Chamberlain said he thought it could be 8 to 9 months for a reliever.

“He’s done for the season,” his dad said. “Now that he’s facing what every pitcher doesn’t want to face, he’s going to face it with a positive attitude. Let’s get it done.”

Said Yankees manager Joe Girardi: “My guess is he’s going to have to have the surgery.”

Intense thunderstorms rolled through the Bronx before the series finale, delaying the start by 3 hours, 27 minutes. The game began at 10:32 p.m. and Curtis Granderson got New York off to fast start with a two-run homer in the first inning.

The 25-year-old Chamberlain is 2-0 with a 2.83 ERA in 27 games. The hard-throwing righty has been a key member of the Yankees’ staff for several years, and has pitched in a variety of roles.

The Yankees already were missing setup man Rafael Soriano, out with inflammation in his right elbow. He led the AL in saves last year with Tampa Bay, and there’s no timetable for his return. Lefty specialist Pedro Feliciano has not pitched this year because of a tear in his shoulder.

Girardi said David Robertson would inherit the role as setup man for closer Mariano Rivera. The Yankees went into the day trying to avoid a Red Sox sweep _ Boston won the first two games of the series, dropping New York into second place in the AL East.

Chamberlain last pitched Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels, his eighth straight scoreless appearance. His velocity has been in the mid-90s mph and he’d been able to throw effective breaking balls. He said he played long toss on Tuesday without any pain.

Chamberlain had been getting regular treatment on the area where his forearm and elbow met for nearly two weeks. He said his elbow felt fine when he pitched, but stiffened after games. An MRI on Wednesday showed a strained flexor muscle and he was put on the DL retroactive to June 6.

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