Braves’ Soroka tears Achilles tendon again, lost for season

Sports
Mike Soroka

File – In this Aug. 10, 2019 file photo, Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Soroka (40) delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Miami. Soroka is facing season-ending surgery after again tearing his right Achilles tendon. The Braves said Saturday, June 26, 2021, Soroka suffered the new tear on Thursday while walking to the clubhouse at Truist Park. Soroka now faces his third surgery on the Achilles. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson. File)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Atlanta Braves right-hander Mike Soroka is facing season-ending surgery after again tearing his right Achilles tendon.

The Braves said Saturday Soroka suffered the new tear on Thursday while walking to the clubhouse at Truist Park, where he was continuing his rehabilitation while the team is at Cincinnati.

“It was his first day out of the boot,” manager Brian Snitker said before Saturday’s game at Great American Ball Park. “He was just walking. I hate it for him. All signs were a go, until he took that step and felt that pop.”

Soroka now faces his third surgery on the Achilles. The team says the procedure will be scheduled within a week.

There was no timetable for Soroka’s return prior to this latest setback, although Snitker said he was hopeful that he could return by the end of this season. Soroka had not yet started throwing off the mound.

Snitker texted Soroka on Saturday morning after hearing the news and later spoke with him by phone.

“He’s put things in perspective,” Snitker said. “He’s ready for this next journey he’s going to be on. The day it happened, it really punched him in the gut.”

Soroka, who was Atlanta’s opening day starter in 2020, first tore the Achilles in a game against the New York Mets on Aug. 3, 2020. He had season-ending surgery and was working to return this season when he suffered a setback in May which led to a follow-up procedure.

Soroka was again working to return this season before tearing the same Achilles. The Braves say an MRI confirmed the new tear.

Soroka emerged as one of the foundations of the Braves’ rotation in 2019, when he went 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA. The Canadian earned a spot in the All-Star Game, finished second in NL Rookie of the Year balloting and sixth for the Cy Young Award.

News of Soroka’s setback spread through the Braves clubhouse on Saturday.

“They’re all sick for him,” Snitker said.

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