Christian Vazquez expected to need full year of recovery

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox expect catcher Christian Vazquez will require a full year to recover from the Tommy John surgery he underwent Thursday to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

The procedure involves the transfer of a tendon to replace the ligament in the elbow. The operation was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., who first administered an arthrogram to confirm the Red Sox’s diagnosis of a torn UCL before proceeding.

“It’s a blow to us, a blow to him,’’ manager John Farrell said. “This is a major interruption to his development at the major league level. But given the success rate of the procedure, we’re fully expecting a complete recovery and get back on track, which is a very promising career for a young, extremely talented catcher.

“Twelve months is typically a realistic time frame, provided there are no issues along the way.’’

The amount of throwing a catcher does, Farrell said, is the reason the Sox project that Vazquez will need a full year. There have been cases of position players requiring less time. Former Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford, for example, had Tommy John surgery in August 2012 and started the following season on time with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Farrell said he exchanged text messages with Vazquez on Thursday.

“He was upbeat,’’ Farrell said. “He’s going to be missed. He’s going to miss being here and being part of it. As he has responded to everything, upbeat, positive, that was the tone of the text as well.’’