Meet Dr. Neal El Attrache: The Surgeon Who Saved Shohei Ohtani's Career

Renowned Surgeon's Expertise Shapes MLB's Medical Landscape

by Nouman Rasool
Meet Dr. Neal El Attrache: The Surgeon Who Saved Shohei Ohtani's Career
© Eric Espada/Getty Images

Neal El Attrache, though not a household name among baseball fans, has emerged as a pivotal figure in the realm of sports medicine, particularly in Major League Baseball (MLB). His expertise as the in-house physician for both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Rams has placed him at the forefront of several high-profile medical procedures in sports.

Recently, the sports community was abuzz with the news of Shohei Ohtani's monumental 10-year, $700 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Adding to the intrigue was the revelation that Ohtani, the 29-year-old two-way star, would defer a significant portion of the contract's value.

However, a lesser-known aspect of this deal is the role of Dr. El Attrache in ensuring Ohtani's career longevity.

El Attrache's Surgical Mastery

With over two decades of experience in sports surgery, Dr. El Attrache's association with the Kerlan-Jobe Institute since 1990 has honed his skills, particularly in ligament reconstructive surgery.

His expertise was crucial in 2018 after Ohtani's season with the Los Angeles Angels, when he underwent Tommy John surgery under El Attrache's care. This September, Ohtani once again trusted El Attrache with a procedure on his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL).

El Attrache's client list extends beyond Ohtani, including prominent figures like Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, UFC fighter Conor McGregor, and Ohtani's teammate Clayton Kershaw. His surgical prowess was also instrumental in the career of the late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, performing multiple successful surgeries on Bryant's knee, shoulder, and Achilles tendon.

While Ohtani is set to miss the 2024 pitching season due to arm surgery, the Dodgers' confidence in his recovery for 2025 is evident in their willingness to commit to such a substantial contract. This trust underscores the reputation and reliability of Dr.

El Attrache within the sports community. As a cornerstone of the Dodgers' medical team, El Attrache's expertise in sports medicine is invaluable. His presence offers reassurance not just to the players but also to the management, particularly as franchise strikeout leader Clayton Kershaw nears the twilight of his career.

The Dodgers' strategic move in securing such a skilled team doctor places them in an enviable position within the league, further enhancing their competitive edge. In summary, Dr. Neal El Attrache represents more than just a team physician; he embodies the pinnacle of medical science in sports, playing a critical role in the health and performance of some of MLB's most prominent athletes.

His contributions to the field extend far beyond the operating room, directly impacting the trajectory of players' careers and, by extension, the success of the teams they represent.

Shohei Ohtani