Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Detroit Tigers closer Joe Nathan will miss the remainder of the season because of a right elbow injury that will require surgery.
Nathan was placed on the disabled list during the opening week of the season with a strained right elbow and was pulled from a rehab assignment Wednesday after feeling what Tigers manager Brad Ausmus described as a "pop" in the elbow.
Further tests, including an MRI exam, revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament and flexor pronator tear. Surgery will be performed at a later date.
"I am preparing myself to be a major-league player again. That is my goal, to come back and pitch again," said Nathan.
Nathan picked up a save in the season opener against Minnesota, then went on the disabled list after complaining of elbow pain. He previously had Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2010 season while with the Twins.
The 40-year-old right-hander had 35 saves in 2014, his first season with Detroit. He has 377 career saves and a 2.89 ERA with a record of 62-34 in 777 career games with Detroit, Texas, Minnesota and San Francisco/
Nathan, who broke into the majors as a starter with the Giants in 1999, has been an All-Star six times in his career.
Joakim Soria has settled in as Detroit's closer in Nathan's absence.