Miguel Sano is optimistic about returning to play after undergoing surgery on his right elbow at a hospital in New York.
Sano, one of the top prospects in the Minnesota Twins organization, had Tommy John surgery and needs at least a six-month rehabilitation. (Pitchers typically need a rehabilitation process twice as long as position players to recover from the procedure.)
The 20-year-old Sano had surgery Wednesday. Dr. David Altcheck performed the procedure, which took about an hour and a half, at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.
"Thank God, everything went well," Sano said to ESPNdeportes.com in a phone interview. "I think I'll be playing baseball in the fall, but I'm between playing in the Arizona Fall League or winter ball in the Dominican Republic."
Sano will travel Saturday from New York to the Twins' spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla., where he will stay all summer working on his rehabilitation program.
Signed to a $3.15 million bonus in September 2009, Sano hit .280 with 35 homers and 103 RBIs between Class A and Double-A in 2013 and was scheduled to start 2014 in the minors to finish polishing his skills before being appointed as the Twins' regular third baseman.
Two weeks ago, an old elbow discomfort worsened during a spring game and MRI tests determined Sano needed surgery. He began to feel discomfort in the elbow last summer.
"At first, the discomfort came in the summer when I was in Double-A, but I keep playing with therapy," he said. "Then in the winter league I felt great pain, and early in spring training the pain was unbearable.
"I never thought it was something so serious, but only God knows why he makes things. A six-month rehab will fly by and I'm already eager to return to the playing field."