San Diego Padres put Dinelson Lamet on IL, are hopeful he'll avoid second Tommy John surgery

LOS ANGELES -- Dinelson Lamet felt "very, very good" on Thursday, a day after exiting his season debut with tightness in his right forearm, San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler said.

Lamet, the Padres' 28-year-old starting pitcher, was placed on the 10-day injured list, but the team's hope is that he can return to the rotation right around the time when he is eligible to be reactivated.

Another Tommy John surgery was initially feared for Lamet -- who spent all of the 2018 season and half of the 2019 season recovering from his first one, and who underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy in an effort to heal a sore elbow in September -- but the Padres are hopeful he can avoid it this time.

"After all the doctors looked at it -- they did an ultrasound yesterday, and they didn't find any inflammation or any type of fluid or anything in there," Tingler said. "The group of doctors and trainers feel that at this moment, right now, they do not need an MRI. And they're pretty encouraged with everything they've kind of tested right now."

Lamet broke out during the shortened 2020 season, posting a 2.09 ERA with 93 strikeouts and 20 walks in 69 innings. But he suffered a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his final regular-season start and received a PRP injection in hopes of healing it without invasive surgery.

The Padres built Lamet back up methodically, waiting until Wednesday to put him back on the mound in a regular-season game. But he complained of tightness in his forearm after his second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers. It was the first hint of soreness Lamet had experienced since last season, Tingler said. He hopes it was a byproduct of in-game adrenaline -- the type that can't necessarily be replicated during bullpen sessions -- and not reinjury.

The Padres will know more Friday, when Lamet resumes his throwing program.

"If everything goes well, we're gonna shoot for him to make the start after the 10 days are up," Tingler said. "We kind of went back, we looked, really the only thing that changed, kind of the adrenaline a little bit, the emotion, and then we took very few, very minimum swings, preparing for the at-bat. But those are really the only two things we kind of looked back and have been a little bit different. The trainers, the doctors, certainly Lamet, everybody feels pretty optimistic, in terms of how he's feeling today."