The epidemic that is sweeping Major League Baseball appears to have claimed another victim.
Texas Rangers left-hander Martin Perez was diagnosed Thursday with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow and expects to have Tommy John reconstruction surgery.
Perez and his agent plan to meet with the Rangers on Friday to discuss his options. If he decides to attempt to rehab the elbow, he would be out 10 to 12 weeks. Opting for surgery would mean a recovery period of 12 to 18 months.
"I don't want to miss this year. I want to get out there and compete," Perez said in an interview with reporters on Thursday. "But I can't just think about this year. If I do the other option, I might not get back or the ligament might get hurt again. If I have the surgery, at this time next year, I can be back and doing what I was doing before -- helping the team.
"I feel bad, but I don't want to end up not being able to help the team all of next year, too."
The 23-year-old Perez started the season with a 4-0 record. Among his wins were two complete-game, three-hit shutouts. But he then lost three straight games and complained of a sore elbow after his last start.
Elbow ligament injuries have plagued baseball this season. Miami Marlins young ace Jose Fernandez is the latest victim. He will have Tommy John surgery on Friday. Three pitchers from the Atlanta Braves and two from the Oakland Athletics are on the long list.