Padres left-hander Cory Luebke will miss his second consecutive season after it was determined that he'll likely need a second reconstructive surgery on his left elbow.

Luebke, 28, had an MRI on Friday that showed a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He missed all of last season while rehabilitating his elbow from his first Tommy John surgery on May 23, 2012.

"I feel bad for him … from 2011 through the first part of 2012, he was certainly on his way," said Padres general manager Josh Byrnes. "This is a real setback. There's been a lot of missed time. Hopefully in a year or so, he can get back to being Cory Luebke.

"This whole thing has been a mystery."

It appeared Luebke, despite some stops and starts during a rehabilitation program that typically runs 12 to 18 months for pitchers, was set to make a push for a spot on the pitching staff during Spring Training.

In September, after his rehabilitation was halted because of pain, Luebke visited orthopedic surgeon Dr. Timothy Kremchek in Cincinnati. But three months later, he advanced to the point where he could throw from a mound, an encouraging sign not only for him but also for the Padres.

In late December, Byrnes indicated that Luebke might be a candidate to begin the season in the bullpen, at the very least to build his arm strength for a potential return to the rotation.