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Baseball is better when Jacob deGrom is healthy, but a healthy deGrom has unfortunately been a rarity in recent years.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner has been on-and-off the injured list since his historic first half in 2021, and his arm troubles even date back to before he turned into one of MLB’s elite pitchers.

deGrom’s latest setback was announced on Tuesday. The Rangers revealed their prized free-agent addition will undergo Tommy John surgery, keeping him out for the remainder of the 2023 season and likely most of 2024.

When he’s been on the mound this season, deGrom has looked sharp. He overcame an ugly Rangers debut to turn in an excellent April before hitting the shelf with an elbow injury.

Now, deGrom’s future is more uncertain than it’s ever been.

MORE: Rangers skyrocket up TSN’s MLB power rankings

Here’s a complete look at deGrom’s injury history, as well as a timeline for his return. 

Jacob deGrom injury history

Below is a closer look at deGrom’s injury timeline, from his first Tommy John surgery to his most recent.

October 2010: deGrom undergoes Tommy John Surgery four months after being drafted by the Mets in the ninth round. He would miss the entire 2011 season while recovering.

September 2016: Any hopes of a Mets returning to the World Series take a major hit with news that deGrom requires season-ending surgery on the ulnar nerve in his elbow. He did not have another Tommy John surgery but was shelved the rest of the season.

2017-2019: deGrom turns in three consecutive healthy seasons, making at least 31 starts in each season from 2017 to 2019. In that span, he wins two Cy Young Awards and pitches to a 2.53 ERA across 622 1/3 innings.

2020: deGrom deals with minor neck and hamstring issues during the COVID-shortened season but misses only start for the Mets.

MORE: How long will Jacob deGrom be out after Tommy John Surgery

June 2021: Amid a historically dominant start to the season, deGrom exits back-to-back starts with minor arm injuries. Still, he pitched on normal rest following the shortened outings and allowed just one hit over five innings against the Braves.

July 2021: deGrom is placed on the IL with forearm tightness just as the second half of the season begins. He never returned in 2021, finishing the year with a spectacular 1.08 ERA across 92 innings.

August 2022: deGrom suffers a stress reaction in his shoulder during spring training and is ruled out for multiple months. He would make his season debut on Aug. 2. 

April 2023: The Rangers place deGrom on the 15-day IL with elbow inflammation. 

June 2023: A day after moving deGrom to the 60-day IL, the Rangers announce deGrom will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the remainder of the season. It marks the second Tommy John procedure he has had since he was drafted in 2010.

Tommy John Surgery recovery time

The typical timeline for a return from Tommy John surgery for pitchers is 12-16 months.

It’s common for teams to be extra cautious with young pitchers who undergo Tommy John surgery and move them along slowly, but deGrom won’t have much time to waste. The former Mets ace turns 36 next June and told reporters Wednesday that he is aiming to return in 2024.

Based on the typical timeline, however, deGrom likely won’t be able to return until after the 2024 All-Star break at the earliest, even if his recovery goes according to plan.



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