Twins' Nathan has Tommy John surgery

BY foxsports • March 27, 2010

Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Friday.

Doctors removed a tendon from his left wrist and placed it in Nathan's right elbow to replace the ulnar collateral ligament that was torn in an exhibition game on March 6, the team said.

The All-Star will miss the entire 2010 season.

Twins general manager Bill Smith said the damaged ligament was completely torn. Nathan planned on returning to the team's spring training facility in Fort Myers on Saturday to start his rehab process. But the clubhouse leader will spend most of this season with his teammates in Minnesota.

``The report I got was everything went great,'' Smith said. ``There was nothing else in there of any concern. The doctor was very pleased.''

Nathan set a career high and a franchise record with 47 saves last season to help Minnesota to the AL Central title. His 246 saves since 2004 are the most in the majors during that span.

The Twins are still looking at all their options to replace him at the back end of their bullpen. Those options include relievers Jon Rauch and Matt Guerrier, starter Francisco Liriano or acquiring another closer by trade.

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