Royals reliever Luke Hochevar underwent surgery Tuesday in St. Louis to fix his recently discovered thoracic outlet syndrome, manager Ned Yost said.
The operation included a scalenectomy, a procedure that divides or removes a portion of the scalene muscle in the front of the neck, and the removal of a rib near the right shoulder. The Royals said the surgery was performed by Robert Thompson, a thoracic outlet syndrome specialist.
Hochevar is expected to miss close to six months. He should return healthy for spring training in 2017. It might not be with the Royals. Under his current contract, Hochevar, 32, has a mutual option for $7 million in 2017. Both the club and player have an option to walk away from the deal. It’s possible, of course, that the Royals and Hochevar could reunite on a more club-friendly deal.
Hochevar was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome last week. The condition is a neurogenic issue caused by the compression of nerves near the neck and shoulder. It can cause pain in the shoulder and tingling in the arm and fingers. Hochevar said last week that he experienced numbness in his fingers, with the symptoms increasing over the last month.
“It was exactly what they thought,” Yost said.
The surgery, club officials said, was deemed a success. Hochevar sent Yost a photo from his hospital bed in St. Louis.