It appears that the book on Triston McKenzie's 2023 season cannot be closed just yet as he could make a return before year's end.
A report from The Athletic's Zach Meisel states "Triston McKenzie will go the non-surgical route as he recovers from an elbow injury. He’ll remain shut down for three more weeks before initiating a throwing program, but the hope is he can return at some point this season".
This seems promising as the Guardians rotation is better when McKenzie is an active member of it. It seemed like things were heading down a certain road that nobody likes to mention when it comes to shoulder injuries which lead to elbow injuires.
Things did not start out great for McKenzie this season, ending up on the injured list with a strained right teres major muscle which sidleined him for two months. Cleveland was able to get two starts from McKenzie, but the droppoff from start one to start two. It was not much longer after that saw McKenzie being skipped in the Guardians rotation and ending up on the injured list with what was described at the time as "elbow soreness". It was revealed a short time later that it was actualy a UCL sprain which led to some mental alarms going off in the Guardians fanbase.
There must be some level of confidence in the current state of McKenzie's elbow that he could indeed make an impactful return. Cleveland is still in the thick of the American League Central race and not going the surgery route seems to point in the direction that the Guardians believe he could help them out as the season winds down and during a potential postseason run. If there was internal belief that they really did not have a chance, there would be no reason to postpone a major medical procedure such as this. It seems like this is being played from a very strategic position as they do not want to have someone miss additional time if they do not have to.