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Seth Maness: the test case in short-circuiting Tommy John surgery

St Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 13: Seth Maness #43 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on August 13, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cardinals defeated the Cubs 8-4. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Disptach has a must-read today about the comeback of former Cardinals pitcher Seth Maness.

Maness injured his UCL last year and went under the knife. But rather than Tommy John surgery, he underwent a potential replacement for that familiar procedure called “primary repair.” Rather than reconstructing the entire ligament it reinforces it at the bone. The key: if it works, it can cut at least five months off of the typical Tommy John recovery time. His surgery was August 18. Goold said he’s poised to pitch from a mound as early as next week.

Maness is the first big league pitcher to try it, so he’s worth watching. That is, if he gets the chance. The Cards non-tendered him last fall, so he’s a free agent. But he’s rehabbing. He may or may not pitch in a big league game in 2017, but if he does, he may blaze a new trail.

Follow @craigcalcaterra