Inside the PD: Ethan Carter to undergo Tommy John surgery

With everything finally going so well for him, both on and off the field, former Menchville High pitcher Ethan Carter has torn the ulnar collateral ligament in his right (pitching) elbow and will undergo Tommy John surgery next week.

Carter is done for the season at Division II UNC Pembroke with a 9-1 record and a 1.36 earned-run average. He won his first nine starts before his only loss, which came April 20 against Armstrong Atlantic.

Carter’s father, Sammy, said he and his son will travel to Pensacola, Fla., to see noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews. Carter is scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday.

“It really is a bummer,” Sammy Carter said. “He was having a heck of a year. The doctor told him he should get it done now instead of later. He can rehab it, and by the time the draft comes around next year, we can get some tryouts lined up.

“The worst-case scenario would be playing independent ball. The doctor said (the surgery) should increase his velocity 3-4 miles per hour.”

Sammy Carter said Ethan felt “a sharp pain” in the seventh inning of a win at North Georgia on March 29. He came home to see Dr. Daniel Carr, who diagnosed the ulnar collateral tear, along with bone spurs and inflammation.

“He told him to shut it down for two or three weeks before trying to pitch again if he wanted to,” Sammy Carter said. “And we called Dr. Andrews.”

Carter tried once more on April 20, three weeks after his most recent outing. He lasted four innings and gave up four earned runs.

“He shouldn’t have pitched, but he wanted to because it was Senior Day,” Sammy Carter said. “It just didn’t hold up.”

Sammy Carter said that prior to his senior year at Menchville, Ethan underwent surgery for a torn labrum in his shoulder. Doctors believe he had been overcompensating over the years, which led to the elbow injury.

This is the latest setback for Carter, who twice was dismissed from South Carolina’s baseball team for off-the-field problems.

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