Rafael Betancourt has been bracing for bad news since he walked off the mound Thursday at Citizens Bank Park. Monday’s MRI confirmed the worst a complete tear of his ulnar ligament. He will try platelet rich plasma treatment to see if it helps form scar tissue in the area. It’s rare where surgery can be avoided but the 38-year-old has nothing to lose.

“They left it up to me whether to have surgery or not. I will see if this helps and allows me to throw again. If not…” Betancourt said.

Then he will likely retire. Given his age and his expiring contract — he has a $4.25-million mutual option that will be declined — there’s no real incentive to rehab for 12-to-13 months to pitch again. According to ESPN four pitchers have torn their UCL and returned to the majors since 2010. None did so in fewer than 11 months.

Betancourt has enjoyed a successful career and served as a stabilizing force in the Rockies’ bullpen since his arrival by trade in July of 2009.

Teammates talk about him in glowing terms. Few have ever worked harder to prepare everyday than Betancourt.

“That’s because I could take nothing for granted. Every day I had to prove myself” said Betancourt a converted minor-league infielder. “I wasn’t going to leave anything to chance.”

Manager Walt Weiss was saddened by the news even though it was expected. He greeted Betancourt at his locker with a hug thanking again him for his professionalism. The two talked for a bit.

“He’s a warrior” Weiss said.