St. Louis Cardinals closer Jason Motte faces reconstructive elbow surgery if his condition does not improve in the next three weeks or so.
Motte, who had a career-high 42 saves last season, has been shut down since late March because of a strained right elbow. He was not cleared to throw after an MRI exam Tuesday didn't show sufficient improvement.
General manager John Mozeliak said the team should have a good idea by early May whether the 30-year-old Motte would be able to pitch this season.
The news comes a day after stand-in closer Mitchell Boggs was charged with six earned runs in one-third of an inning in the Cincinnati Reds' nine-run ninth inning.