Braves' Tom Glavine avoids Tommy John surgery

Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine received encouraging news Wednesday from noted sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who examined the left-hander's injured left elbow.

Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine should be able to pitch next season, if he wants to.

Glavine, 42, received encouraging news Wednesday from noted sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who examined the stylish left-hander's injured left elbow.

Andrews confirmed that Glavine's flexor tendon was partially torn, but remained intact with only normal wear.

Glavine has scheduled surgery Thursday to repair the tendon, which should be fully healed in four to five months. 

Had he required ligament replacement surgery, known in baseball circles as Tommy John surgery, Glavine would have retired.

"We were pleased by the report that there was not a significant injury to the elbow, or shoulder, that would prevent Tom from pitching in the future," Braves general manager Frank Wren said in a statement.

Glavine was returned to the disabled list last Friday, his third stint on the DL this season.

The former Cy Young Award winner was activated Thursday night and promptly took the mound versus the Chicago Cubs, lasting just four innings in an 11-7 loss.

He had been sidelined with a strained elbow since June 10, and shelved with a hamstring injury earlier in the season.

Glavine signed for $8M

Glavine posted a 2-4 record with a 5.54 earned-run average in 13 starts since rejoining the Braves last Nov. 19, signing a one-year, $8-million US contract.

He could have exercised a contract option with the New York Mets for $13 million US, but he elected to return to Atlanta, where he spent his first 16 seasons and resides year-round.

Glavine and his wife, Christine, have four children.

He is 305-203 with 56 complete games in 682 starts over 22 MLB seasons for the Braves and Mets, who inked him to a three-year, $35-million US deal on Dec. 5, 2002.

Glavine later resisted overtures to rejoin the Braves, inking a $10.5-million US extension with New York on Dec. 1, 2006.

Glavine won Cy Young Awards with Atlanta in 1991 and 1998, and was selected the most valuable player as the Braves won the World Series in six games over the Cleveland Indians in 1995.

With files from the Associated Press