Texas Rangers pitcher Jonathan Hernandez undergoes ligament reconstruction surgery

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Texas Rangers right-hander Jonathan Hernandez had ligament reconstruction surgery on his right elbow Monday, just less than two weeks after fellow reliever José Leclerc had the same procedure. Their bullpen will also be without hard-throwing Matt Bush until at least July.

Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels said the Tommy John surgery on Hernandez was performed by team physician Dr. Keith Meister and went as expected. Both Hernandez and Leclerc will be sidelined until at least early in the 2022 season. Meister did Leclerc's surgery on March 31.

Bush has a flexor strain in his right arm and will get an injection Tuesday, then wait six weeks before a follow-up MRI to determine if the right-hander is ready to start throwing again. Daniels said Bush would then need about six weeks -- or about the same length of time he is unable to throw -- before being able to pitch again in a game.

After missing 2 1/2 seasons because of a pair of elbow operations, Bush was put on the 10-day injured list Friday with elbow inflammation after three appearances.

The 24-year-old Hernandez had a breakout 2020, when he was 5-1 with a 2.90 ERA in 27 appearances in the pandemic-shortened 60-game season. He had 31 strikeouts and eight walks in 31 innings, relying heavily on a sinker that averaged nearly 98 mph. He was shut down midway through spring training with what the team called a ligament sprain, and he decided to have the Tommy John surgery after a follow-up MRI last week.

"(The MRI) showed some measure of healing. But he was he was still feeling some discomfort in the joint, which after four weeks, medical staff felt like if it was likely to heal non-surgically, then he wouldn't have felt discomfort at that point," Daniels said. "Ultimately Jonathan's call. The decision was made rather than to invest more time in the rehab side, since he was still having symptoms, to go ahead and have the surgery."