Veal's Tommy John surgery a success

Veal's Tommy John surgery a success

PITTSBURGH -- Donnie Veal underwent successful Tommy John surgery on Friday, one day after Dr. James Andrews diagnosed the left-hander with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow.

Veal is scheduled to report to Bradenton, Fla., next week to begin his rehabilitation program. His recovery process is expected to take 12-18 months, which is typical for this type of procedure.

This means that not only will Veal miss the remainder of the 2010 season, but the 25-year-old starter will also miss part -- if not all -- of 2011, too. That news hit manager John Russell particularly hard, given the improvements Veal had made since sneaking through '09 as a Rule 5 Draft pick.

"It crushed me. It really did," Russell said. "I think everybody was really excited about what he was doing. To get that news is devastating to me. He's a great kid. He worked awfully hard to get to where he is.

"It's a setback, but knowing Donnie, he'll bounce back. He's a very resilient kid. He's been through a lot in his life. I think mentally he'll be able to battle through this, as well as physically."

Veal was 3-2 with a 4.35 ERA in nine Triple-A starts before being shut down.