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CAMBRIDGE – In the summer of 2011, Dan Ellis decided to forgo Tommy John surgery after learning he had a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The injury normally develops gradually because of overuse on the mound.
Instead, the 6-foot-5 Milton teenager went through six months of physical therapy to get back on the mound, but with each ensuing pitch, the chance of another tear was always in the back of his mind.
In the last game of the spring season for the Dexter School, pitching against Belmont Hill, he suffered a stress reaction in his elbow.
“It made everything a lot tougher,” said Ellis, a rising senior.
Yet, this summer he shelled out $3,000 to return to his showcase team, the New England Ruffnecks.