Marlins superstar righthander Jose Fernandez was diagnosed with a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament of his pitching arm and surgery was recommended in the initial diagnosis by noted physician Neal ElAttrache, sources connected to the team say.

Fernandez is scheduled to see Marlins team doctor Lee Kaplan Tuesday to see if he confirms the original diagnosis and recommendation.

It's possible team personnel may be holding out small hope Fernandez can avoid Tommy John surgery, which would cost the young star the rest of this season and the beginning of next, though while nothing has been decided as of yet, surgery has to be seen as likely based on the first finding. A few pitchers have been able to pitch effectively despite a tear, though not many.

Tommy John surgery has become practically an epidemic among young big-league stars. Thirty two pitchers already have required the reconstuction surgery in a particularly rough year that's concerning MLB.

While the team cautiously announced Fernandez has a "sprain," word is he has a significant tear in an elbow that is said to be otherwise "pristine," making the likelihood for successful surgery extremely high. A sprain technically can mean a tear, and does in this case -- though it may sound a bit better.