Jonathan Santucci knows it looked like the worst-case scenario.
The Duke left-hander left the mound holding his left elbow during the fourth inning of a start against Pitt on March 31. Just like that, he considered that his dream of being a likely first-round pick in 2024 had been dashed.
“Any time a pitcher comes off holding his elbow, the first thought is always Tommy John (surgery),” Santucci said. “I was pretty fortunate.”
Santucci’s medical diagnosis ended up being an olecranon fracture, or a break in the bony tip of the elbow. The Leominster, Mass., native missed the remainder of what figured to be a promising sophomore season as a two-way prospect in the ACC. However, he recently returned to throwing with his father, and he is expected to make a full recovery when he returns to Duke in August.