LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo had to back out of the goodwill series to his native Taiwan because of elbow soreness, the Dodgers confirmed Tuesday.
Kuo had been throwing in anticipation of pitching for the Taiwan national team against a team of Major League All-Stars in a five-game series Nov. 1-6. But just before he was scheduled to leave Los Angeles for Taiwan, he developed soreness in his left elbow, which already has undergone four operations, including two Tommy John reconstructions.
Kuo, 30, is scheduled to be examined by team doctor Neal ElAttrache Wednesday. The last operation on Kuo's elbow, to remove bone chips, was in 2007. He had been throwing for a month in preparation of the Taiwan series.
The latest setback was a particular disappointment to Kuo, who made a trip with the Dodgers to Taiwan during the Spring Training of 2010 only to be scratched the day before a scheduled start, again because of elbow soreness.
The condition of his elbow further adds to the club's dilemma of whether to non-tender Kuo, who is eligible for salary arbitration but is coming off a dreadful season in which his ERA soared from a record 1.20 during an All-Star 2010 to 9.00 in 2011, when he missed significant time battling anxiety disorder. Kuo earned $2.725 million in 2011.
During the last week of the season, Kuo said he wasn't sure if he would return for 2012 or retire.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.