Tyler Wells and John Means both need season-ending elbow surgery, a major blow to an Orioles rotation that has been hit hard by injuries this season.

Until the pitchers are on the operating table, the team will not know if they will need Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery — a 12 to 18 month recovery timeline — or a different kind of repair. Either way, there is also a strong possibility they could miss part of next season as well.

(WATCH LIVE: Can the Orioles survive losing Means and Wells?)

“It’s a very unfortunate situation for us, for them,” general manager Mike Elias said. “It’s tough news for everybody. We’ll take great care of them and get them back to their skill level in due time.”

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They are expected to have the surgeries in June. It will be the second major elbow repair for both pitchers — Wells underwent Tommy John in 2019 and Means did so in 2022.

With the two out, the Orioles will turn to a rotation of Corbin Burnes, Kyle Bradish, Grayson Rodriguez, Cole Irvin and Dean Kremer to finish the season. Albert Suárez, who is starting on Friday, is an option too. Kremer is expected back in June from a triceps strain, but may require a rehab appearance first. They are also closely watching Cade Povich, who has a 2.35 ERA in 10 Triple-A starts, and the trade market.

“Knock on wood, I feel pretty good still about the starting pitching options we have,” Elias said. “We’ll obviously monitor things and see what happens both internally and externally over the next couple of months before closing the book on our starting situation.”

For Means, this could be the end of his journey with the Orioles, as he will be a free agent after this season. Drafted by the Orioles in 2014, he made his debut in 2018. He was one of their strongest pitchers during the rebuild, making the All-Star team in 2019 and throwing a no-hitter in 2021.

Means first experienced elbow pain at the start of the 2022 season and underwent Tommy John surgery shortly after. His recovery timeline was pushed back after he suffered a back strain midway through the 2023 season, but he was able to return in September of last season, just as the Orioles were nearing in on clinching a playoff spot.

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He made four starts and was set to pitch in the American League Division series when he experienced elbow soreness. The Orioles had him rest his elbow, and he entered spring training a month behind the other starters, pushing back his first start of the season to May. He pitched well in his first three starts, allowing six runs in 17 2/3 innings, before he exiting his fourth start on May 22 after three innings with elbow discomfort.

He sought out two opinions before the decision came for him to get another elbow surgery.

“To watch what guys go through when they miss significant amount of time, it’s tough,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “It’s tough mentally, it’s true adversity it’s hard to deal with. To see him go through all that and pitch really well at the end of the year for us, season got delayed a little bit and have this happen now is incredibly disappointing.”

Elias said they have not had any discussions with Means about his future. He will be 32 next season and has only made 10 starts in the last three seasons.

“I think the first step is taking care of this,” Elias said. “We are going to support him. ... Obviously we talk a lot, I’m sure we will be dialoging with him as we get him back up on his feet. 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.”

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Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Tyler Wells (68) roars after recording his final strikeout against the Los Angeles Angels at Camden Yards on March 31. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

Wells had an All-Star-caliber first half last season before he was optioned with elbow fatigue. He returned at the end of the season, aiding a bullpen that was operating down the stretch without closer Félix Bautista. Wells spent his season homing in on his nutrition and his strength, ready to rejoin the rotation as a starter.

After three starts, he was placed on the injured list with elbow inflammation and sent to the Orioles complex in Sarasota, Florida, to rehab. He started playing catch again, but continued to experience discomfort.

“You try conservative methods first and those failed in this case,” Elias said. “Everybody agreed at this point to fix it and get it behind him. Obviously, it’s going to take a large chunk of time.”