Kansas City Royals closer Joakim Soria has injured his right elbow and may need Tommy John surgery requiring him to miss the entire 2012 season, according to Danny Knobler of CBS.
The Royals said that an MRI revealed damage in the ulnar collateral ligament of Soria's right elbow. Soria, 27, is likely to need the season-ending operation, but the team may decide to seek a second opinion first.
This would be Soria's second time going under the knife for Tommy John surgery -- he also underwent the procedure in 2003, when he was a prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers' organization.
Soria struggled for the Royals last season, putting up a mediocre 4.03 ERA. He finished with 28 saves despite temporarily losing the Kansas City closing job.
Greg Holland, the 26-year-old righty who saved four games in Soria's stead last season, is still under contract and could take over the role again this year. The Royals also signed former Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton to a one-year, $4 million deal in the offseason.