(Reuters) - Texas Rangers' Japanese ace Yu Darvish will miss the entire 2015 Major League Baseball season after deciding to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, the team said on Friday.
The All-Star right-hander will have the ligament reconstruction surgery on Tuesday in Pensacola, Florida and will return to the Rangers' spring training camp in Arizona following the procedure to begin his rehabilitation program. He is expected to continue his rehab in Arlington, Texas once the regular season begins.
The procedure is named after the first baseball player to undergo the surgery in 1974, major league pitcher Tommy John.
Darvish, who was signed to a six-year, $56 million deal by the Rangers, left his first Cactus League start on March 5 after one inning with tightness in his right triceps.
An MRI and examination the following day indicated that Darvish has a sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
The 28-year-old missed the final seven weeks of last season due to mild inflammation in his right elbow after posting a 10-7 record.
In three seasons with the Rangers, Darvish had established himself has one of the major league's top pitchers, posting a career record of 39-25 with a 3.27 ERA.
His 11.22 strikeouts per nine innings is the highest ratio in the majors over the past three seasons.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Gene Cherry)