BOSTON—John Lackey will undergo reconstructive elbow surgery and miss the 2012 season, the latest setback in his rough year with the Boston Red Sox.
General manager Ben Cherington made the announcement Tuesday during a news conference at which he was introduced as the successor to Theo Epstein, who left to become president of baseball operations with the Chicago Cubs.
Lackey, a right-hander, was 12-12 with a 6.41 ERA in the second year of a five-year, $82.5 million contract. The Boston Globe reported after the season that he and fellow starters Josh Beckett and Jon Lester drank beer and ate fried chicken in the clubhouse during games in which they were not pitching.
Cherington said the Tommy John surgery would be performed, probably by noted orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum, but he did not know when. Lackey had elbow soreness during the season and had an MRI in May or June, Cherington said. He had another one after the season and was examined recently by Yocum in Los Angeles.
"John Lackey pitched through circumstances this year that I don't think any of us in this room can fully understand," Cherington said, "and he got beat up for it a little bit along the way. This guy was dealing with some stuff both on the field and off the field that were really difficult.