© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

10/14/08 5:51 PM ET

Weathers needs Tommy John surgery

Rockies' first-round Draft pick in 2007 hurt right elbow in AFL

DENVER -- Reliever Casey Weathers, the Rockies' No. 1 pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, has suffered a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and faces Tommy John ligament replacement surgery.

Weathers suffered the injury during Arizona Fall League play last Thursday, had an MRI on Monday and learned the results of the initial report Tuesday. Marc Gustafson, the Rockies' player development director, said Weathers will consult with the team's doctors before taking the next step, but the surgery is the normal course.

Rehab time from Tommy John surgery would be expected to be 12-15 months, which would eliminate his participation in the 2009 season. Weathers, selected eighth overall out of Vanderbilt, attended his first Major League Spring Training this year, and pitched at Double-A Tulsa, in the Futures Game during All-Star weekend, in the Olympics for Team USA, in instructional ball in Tucson and in the Arizona Fall League.

"You just never know," Gustafson said. "the MRI when he came into the system showed a healthy arm, and it looks like the ligament popped with one pitch. The good news is the success rate for this type of surgery is very high. He's young and he'll be good for many years."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.