Rizzo confirms Giolito likely needs Tommy John surgery (with audio)

It is almost time to begin the Tommy John clock for right-hander Lucas Giolito.

Appearing on the “Holden & Danny Show” on Wednesday on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C., Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed that first-round selection Giolito will likely need Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in his right elbow.

“It looks like he is going to need Tommy John surgery,” Rizzo said on “The Mike Rizzo Show.” “He has seen our medical people. We’re going to give him a second medical opinion.”

Rizzo said that Giolito has yet to see Dr. Lewis Yocum, but if the diagnosis of elbow surgery is confirmed, Yocum will perform the Tommy John surgery on Giolito.

Rizzo said the Nationals have experience dealing with these situations, and Giolito will be 19 when he has completed his rehab. The youngster can then get back to work in the Nationals’ minor league system.

“We will have a rehabilitation schedule in place the same as we’ve had with Jordan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg and Sammy Solis,” Rizzo continued.

Zimmermann is back for his second full campaign since surgery and has no innings limit. Strasburg is currently at 145 1/3 innings in his first full post-surgery season, while Solis is doing well in his post-surgery initial rehab.

Giolito had one outing for Gulf Coast League Nationals on Aug. 14, tossing two innings with two hits, one run, no walks and one strikeout. He reportedly suffered soreness in his elbow after the start. Giolito originally sprained the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in March during his high school season in California and had been rehabbing at the Nationals complex in Viera, Fla.

No timetable has yet been set for when the surgery will take place.

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