Nerve Irritation Sends Richards to 60-Day DL

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Turns out Angels right-hander Garrett Richards will be out for much longer than originally though, as he was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Saturday. The former ace left his first start of the season with a biceps strain, and was unable to regain full strength despite some progress in his rehabilitation exercises.

Richards, 29, originally felt fine and was expecting to make his next start. But as the days went by, he was never able to start a throwing program to get himself ready to return. The cause was irritation to his cutaneous nerve, which is a system of nerves that goes all the way down a person’s arm, shown in this graphic.

Most likely the specific strain of nerve that is acting up is the medial cutaneous nerve inside his right bicep, right near his ulnar collateral ligament. This injury is probably a side effect of Garrett’s torn UCL, which he suffered almost exactly one year ago and opted for stem cell treatments instead of Tommy John Surgery.

Richards could have returned before the end of the month, as his biceps strain was very similar to that John Lackey in 2013. Lackey did have Tommy John Surgery the previous season, made his first start on April 6, returned on April 28, and finished strong with a 3.52 ERA in 189 1/3 innings. However, there was no irritation to his nerves in his arm. And so now the Halos will have to wait another four-to-six weeks.

The exact timetable as of right now is June 1.