AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK - Baltimore Orioles left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada will have elbow-ligament reconstruction surgery, likely delaying the Japanese left-hander's major league debut for a year.
Wada has been sidelined since the last week of spring training. He was previously diagnosed with ligament damage after a magnetic resonance angiogram and saw Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles for a second opinion this week. The Angels' team doctor will perform the surgery May 11.
"We've identified for sure the problem and now with the way medicine is and surgical procedures we can proceed with getting him ready for next year," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "The sooner the better."
The 31-year-old Wada signed an $8.15 million, two-year contract in December. He made only two appearances during spring training because of soreness in his elbow. The tear was discovered after a rehabilitation outing for Triple-A Norfolk.
Wada was 107-61 with a 3.13 ERA and 1,329 strikeouts in 210 career games (207 starts) over nine seasons with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League. In his 52 starts over the last two seasons, he went 33-13 with a 2.29 ERA.
Wada is the latest pitcher to have the operation known as Tommy John surgery. Reds closer Ryan Madson and Mets starter Mike Pelfrey are among those that had the surgery this year. Recovery usually takes a year. Phil Humber, who threw a perfect game for the Chicago White Sox in April, had the operation in 2005.
Also, left-hander Zach Britton, who hasn't played all season because of discomfort in his left shoulder, will begin pitching in extended spring games. He is scheduled for outings on May 10, 15 and 21. If all goes well, he could make a rehab start May 26.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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