Talk about a situation that has deteriorated. When the Tigers first made the decision to sit down Joel Zumaya a week into spring training, it was expected that he wouldn't miss much time. They thought the issue was simply broken scar tissue from his off season elbow surgery. While this can be painful, it's hardly abnormal, and shouldn't have been a significant harbinger of woe.
Then the diagnosis changed - to inflammation. A bit worse, but again, perfectly normal following surgery.
Still it was expected that he'd be ready around opening day. We're a month past that point now, obviously, and the prognosis still hasn't changed. Zumaya was still waiting, hoping that the pain would subside and that he could resume his frequently dazzling, but oft-derailed career.
Now comes word that Zumaya will undergo exploratory surgery on the elbow to try and determine exactly what's wrong. He's scheduled to have the procedure on the 10th of this month and we wont know until it's complete exactly what needs to be done, and therefor what a timetable for his return might be.
The Tigers have struggled recently at the back end of their bullpen as new setup man Joaquin Benoit (8.18 ERA) has faltered recently and getting Zumaya back could've been a boon to the unit. Instead, they'll have to wait a bit longer