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Nick Kingham has Tommy John surgery

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Kingham had Tommy John surgery last weekend, the Pirates have announced.

This is no surprise. As we initially noted when news of Kingham's condition was reported several weeks ago, the fact that he was seeking a second opinion on his injured elbow suggested pretty strongly that the first opinion he heard was that he should get Tommy John surgery.

If all goes according to plan, Kingham should start making his way back to the mound this time next year. Since he still hasn't made his major-league debut, the Pirates will probably want him to pitch a couple months at Indianapolis before he becomes a factor at the big-league level, so he likely won't make an impact until the end of next season, if then.

The surgery probably won't have much impact on Kingham's long-term value, since he won't accumulate service time while he recovers and since the prognosis for Tommy John patients is now generally very good. But Kingham won't be available as depth for at least a year, and the Pirates will have to plan with that in mind for both this season and next.