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ATLANTA – Michael Fulmer's spring has gone from bad to worst-case scenario.

Detroit Tigers last week to "refine his lower-body mechanics," according to manager Ron Gardenhire, a more ominous diagnosis has come to light: Fulmer, the team's right-hander, has been recommended to undergo elbow ligament reconstruction surgery

Fulmer began experiencing soreness in his right elbow after a recent bullpen session. According to a release from the Tigers, after MR. James Andrews, Fulmer what recommended to undergo Tommy John surgery. He is seeking a third opinion.

Fulmer's 2017 season was cut short.

Fulmer's 2017 season was cut short.

Fulmer's 2017 season was cut short with right elbow ulnar nerve transposition surgery. Last season, he underwent his third right knee meniscus surgery.

as recommended by doctors to prevent future injury. During his three grapefruit league starts, his speed sat between 88-92 mph, 96.5 mph average fastball velocity last season,

Detroit Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer warms up before the first inning against the New York Yankees at Lakeland, Fla., Feb. 27, 2019. (Photo: Reinhold Matay, USA TODAY Sports)

Both Fulmer and the Tigers professed no public concern over the dip, but internally, there's a long-awaited announcement on the team's Friday announcement, which was uniquely vague in its delivery.

"He took a step back to refine his lower-body mechanics," Gardenhire told reporters, reading from a legal pad on his Tiger Town desk last Thursday.

If he undergoes the surgery, Tommy John generally requires 12-15 months of memory for pitchers, meaning Fulmer will likely not pitch again until 2020 , at the earliest.

Fulmer, 26, has posted a 3.81 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in three seasons, spanning 75 starts.

The Tigers were hopeful that Fulmer – who has four years of team control at $ 3 million for 2019

But with every low-90 mph pitch he threw, that's diminished, and now, there's no hope at all all that Fulmer wants to be able to do with the Tigers' rebuilding process with prospects. More from spring training:

Letters from Detroit Tigers spring training: A fun team with no jerks

Detroit Tigers' Cam Gibson a throwback to the old days. The days of his dad

Detroit Tigers newsletter: On the air with Matt Shepard