Joel Zumaya Injury: Torn UCL Ends Comeback Attempt

Joel Zumaya's comeback attempt has been cut short in spring training. The hard-throwing right-hander will miss 2012 with an elboy injury.

Sad news: Joel Zumaya suffered an elboy injury that will force him to miss the entire baseball season for the second straight year. St. Paul Pioneer Press' John Shipley reports an MRI revealed a torn ulterior collateral ligament, spelling the abrupt end of a comeback attempt with the Twins.

A 100+ mile-per-hour fastball helped turn him into a fan favorite as a middle reliever, but injuries have prevented Zuyama from pitching more than 38 innings in a season since his rookie season.

More from Shipley:

Zumaya, 27, was trying to make a comeback with the Minnesota Twins. He threw a dozen or so pitches to batters Saturday before ending the session and walking off the field with head trainer Rick McWane. The decision ahead of him seems to be whether he will have Tommy John surgery or retire.

"He's distraught, as you'd expect," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "He's going to come in here in the next day or so and we're going to talk about the immediate future for him."

The Twins took a one-year, $850,000 flyer on Zumaya, which could have reached $1.7 million with incentives. Instead he will face a tough road back to the majors, again.

For more on the Twins, visit SB Nation's Twinkie Town.

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