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04/15/09 1:56 AM EST

Tankersley scheduled for arm surgery

Friday procedure is to repair stress fracture in left elbow

ATLANTA -- Former Marlins first-round pick Taylor Tankersley, who was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in Spring Training, is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left elbow on Friday.

According to Tankersley's agent, Jeff Kahn, the procedure will be performed by Dr. John Conway in Fort Worth, Texas. Conway, formerly a physician for the Rangers, is a leading specialist for these types of procedures. Most likely, the left-handed reliever will have a couple of screws inserted in his elbow.

The exact recovery time won't be known until after the surgery. Best-case scenario appears that he could begin throwing in about six weeks. If it is more serious, it could be season-threatening.

Tankersley recently visited Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.

A first-round pick out of the University of Alabama in 2004, Tankersley was optioned to Triple-A on March 23. He has not pitched for the Zephyrs this season.

Last year, Tankersley appeared in 25 games for the Marlins, and he threw 17 2/3 innings, but he allowed 16 earned runs. He also appeared in 29 games for Triple-A Albuquerque -- the team's affiliate a year ago. In 29 games for the Isotopes, he was 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA.

Tankersley entered Spring Training hopeful to win a lefty relief job, but he struggled in eight appearances, giving up 15 earned runs in 6 2/3 innings.

As a rookie in 2006, Tankersley was promoted to the big leagues in June and he was effective in 49 games, logging a 2.85 ERA.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.