Dr. James Andrews halts Tommy John surgery amid coronavirus pandemic - Sports Illustrated

Dr. James Andrews Halts Tommy John Surgeries During Coronavirus Pandemic

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Surgeon James Andrews will not perform Tommy John surgeries at his Florida office during the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesperson for the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Florida—the facility where Andrews performs his procedures—confirmed his decision in a statement to The Boston Globe.

"We are not performing any non-urgent or non-emergent procedures, including Tommy John surgery, in compliance with the governor's executive order," the spokesperson said. "We are adhering to these restrictions and all such cases are suspended at this time."

On March 20, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order for all nonessential elective procedures in the state to be postponed amid the pandemic. One week before that the American College of Surgeons recommended doctors should minimize, postpone or cancel all elective surgery.

Despite the recommendation, the Red Sox announced Chris Sale had Tommy John surgery on Monday in Los Angeles, and Mets ace Noah Syndergaard underwent the same operation last week in West Palm Beach, Fla. Critics have questioned whether MLB is crossing ethical boundaries by having players undergo procedures during the pandemic, while teams argue that Tommy John surgery is essential for pitchers' jobs.

Phillies pitcher Seranthony Dominguez is weighing his decision after having it reportedly suggested that he should undergo a reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Dominguez has returned to his home in the Dominican Republic to rest his arm while the upcoming MLB season is postponed, but the decision to delay surgery could potentially affect whether he misses a few months or the entire season in 2021.