TORONTO — John Means had Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery on Monday to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, his second time getting the procedure done in 26 months.

The recovery timeline is 12 to 18 months. The surgery was performed by Dr. Keith Meister in Arlington, Texas.

“It’s a big blow,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I thought it was really admirable how hard he worked to come back and it’s just really disappointing to see him miss another significant amount of time.”

Means, 31, will be a free agent after this season, meaning he may not pitch in an Orioles uniform again. General manager Mike Elias said last week that they have not had any discussions about his future with the team, but that they plan to support him as he recovers.

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“Obviously we talk a lot, I’m sure we will be dialoging with him as we get him back up on his feet,” Elias said. “He’s going to make it back. He’s a big strong guy, once he gets this elbow injury fully behind him, which hasn’t really been the case, it seems like going back to last year, I think he has a lot of really good pitching ahead of him.”

Means had his first Tommy John surgery in April 2022 and made his return to a major league mound last September. He made just four starts before he experienced elbow soreness, making him unavailable for the American League Division Series.

He rested the elbow during the beginning of the offseason and entered spring training a month behind the other starters, pushing back his first start of the season to May. He allowed six runs in 17 2/3 innings in his first three starts but exited his fourth start on May 22 after three innings with elbow discomfort.

He sought out two opinions before the decision was made to have season-ending elbow surgery. They did not know until they opened him up what type of repair he would need, and Tommy John was the worst-case scenario.

If this is the end of his time in an Orioles uniform, Means, an 11th round draft pick in 2014, will be remembered for being a bright light during their darkest days. He was the lone All-Star in 2019, when he placed second in American League Rookie of the Year voting, and he threw a no-hitter in 2021. He has a career ERA of 3.68 with a 23-26 record in 78 games, 73 of them starts.