TAMPA, Fla. -- Boston Red Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito is expected to miss this season after his right ulnar collateral ligament was repaired with an internal brace.

Dr. Jeffrey R. Dugas operated Tuesday at the Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Alabama. Giolito was able to avoid ligament replacement surgery, which he had on Aug. 31, 2012, with Dr. Lewis Yocum, less than two months after Washington made Giolito the top overall pick in the 2012 amateur draft.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said before Wednesday's game at the New York Yankees he doesn't think Giolito will take the mound again in 2024. Recovery from the internal brace surgery, which uses an artificial material to make the repair, has allowed pitchers to return to the major leagues in as little as nine months. Tommy John surgery, which uses a tendon from elsewhere in the body to replace the torn ligament, has a usual rehab period of 12 to 18 months.

"So go through the process and hopefully he gets back sooner rather than later, you know, whenever that is, but I do believe it was like the best-case scenario," Cora said. "Seeing what has happened with this procedure in the past, he's going to be able to go out there and throw his changeup and his good fastball and help the Red Sox win some more games."

Giolito, who signed a $38.5 million, two-year deal with the Red Sox in January, turns 30 in July.

He made two spring training starts. He threw a pair of scoreless innings in his first outing on Feb. 25 against Minnesota, then reported discomfort in the elbow after allowing four runs and three walks in 2⅓ innings against the Twins on March 1.

Giolito reached the major leagues in 2016 with Washington. He was an All-Star in 2019 while pitching for the Chicago White Sox and has been reliable during his big league career, throwing at least 160 innings in five of the past six seasons. He is 61-62 with a 4.43 ERA in 178 starts and two relief appearances.

Tests on outfielder Rob Refsnyder confirmed that he has a fractured left pinkie toe, the result of a hit by pitch on Tuesday.

"It's a tough one, however, hopefully it's four to six weeks or whatever it is," Cora said. "So now it's just a matter of being patient."