Kyle McClellan Injury: St. Louis Cardinals Reliever Could Require Elbow Surgery

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 13: Reliever Kyle McClellan #46 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Atlanta Braves at Busch Stadium on May 13, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Kyle McClellan could require elbow surgery after leaving Thursday's St. Louis Cardinals loss.

The St. Louis Cardinals have struggled with multiple injuries in recent days, and they could have a new one to contend with: Kyle McClellan's flown back to St. Louis to have his elbow examined, and it's possible, reports Joe Strauss, that he'll need season-ending elbow surgery. That would be a blow for the Cardinals, who released J.C. Romero earlier in the week with the idea that McClellan, who's got a long-standing reverse platoon split, would be able to fill in as their second lefty specialist.

Early reports from strange Twitter accounts suggest Memphis starter Brandon Dickson, 27, will replace McClellan on the Cardinals' active roster. Dickson allowed three runs in eight innings in four appearances in the majors last year; in 60 starts at AAA Memphis he's 21-20, with an ERA of 3.56 and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.04. He's best known for a big sinker and a cool nickname—Cotton.

McClellan, who pitched a career-high 141.2 innings last season after joining the rotation following Adam Wainwright's own injury, allowed 11 runs in 18.2 innings over 16 appearances this year.

For more on the Cardinals' various injury concerns, check out our storystreams on Carlos Beltran's knee, Allen Craig's hamstring, and Lance Berkman's balky calf, which will always be updated as soon as we know more.

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