Date set for Zumaya's Tommy John surgery

Date set for Zumaya's Tommy John surgery

Date set for Zumaya's Tommy John surgery
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Twins reliever Joel Zumaya is set to undergo Tommy John surgery on March 29 in Pensacola, Fla., the club announced on Tuesday. Dr. James Andrews will perform the operation.

Zumaya, 27, tore his ulnar collateral ligament on Feb. 25 while throwing a live batting practice session on a practice field at the Lee County Sports Complex.

He made the decision to undergo the surgery on Sunday, after deliberating for nearly a week about whether to undergo the surgery to attempt another comeback or retire.

"He's going to have the surgery with Dr. Andrews, and the rehab will probably be out in San Diego," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "I don't know if there's anyone in the game who has gone [through] what he's gone through. But, ultimately, it came down to a decision he was going to make. He thought it out for about four or five days, so you know it didn't come lightly to him."

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was happy to hear that Zumaya is giving baseball another chance, as his career has been plagued by injuries.

This will be his third operation on his elbow, as he had surgery after fracturing his elbow while pitching for the Tigers against the Twins on June 28, 2010, and had follow-up surgery last year that forced him to miss the '11 season.

"If he wants to continue to try and play, I'm all for it," Gardenhire said. "I think he's great. He's a young man. He still has some arm in him, he just has to get it fixed again and see where he's at after the surgery. But good for him. I'm happy for him."

Ryan said that Zumaya is still on the club's 40-man roster, as the Twins have until Opening Day to decide to release him or place him on the 60-day disabled list. He's set to earn only $400,000 of the one-year, $850,000 deal he signed this offseason because he failed to make the Opening Day roster.

"I probably won't make a decision until I have to," Ryan said. "Once you set your Opening Day 40-man roster, if we need space, we'll make a decision on it."