Home collateral Braves key reliever Jackson has ligament damage in his elbow

Braves key reliever Jackson has ligament damage in his elbow

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Atlanta Braves reliever Luke Jackson has ligament damage in his right elbow and there is no timeline for his return.

A key part of the bullpen last year in Atlanta’s run to the World Series championship, Jackson is undergoing a “comprehensive evaluation,” the team said Saturday.

The Braves said tests revealed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in Jackson’s elbow. The 30-year-old passed the test after being stopped for a week, then felt new discomfort when he started throwing again.

Problems with the ulnar collateral ligament may lead to Tommy John surgery, which would end Jackson’s season.

Jackson made 18 saves in 2019 and has been one of the team’s best preparers ever since. He was 2-2 with a career-best 1.98 ERA in 71 games in 2021, helping Atlanta win its first championship since 1995.

Jackson had a 0.00 ERA in three World Series games against Houston, allowing one hit in 3 2/3 innings.

The bullpen is one of the deepest areas on the team after the offseason additions of closer Kenley Jansen and Collin McHugh. If Jackson is unavailable, McHugh’s role becomes especially important as another right-hander in the bullpen.

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