Carlos Beltran has bone spur in elbow but hopes to avoid surgery

The Yankees' Carlos Beltran looks on from the The Yankees' Carlos Beltran looks on from the dugout during a game against the Mets at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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An MRI performed on Carlos Beltran's hyperextended right elbow didn't yield the worst possible news.

But it was far from positive.

The rightfielder said Tuesday he has a bone spur for which he received a cortisone shot late Monday night. The plan, the 37-year-old said, is to give the shot "two to three days" to work before thinking about another step, likely surgery.

"Right now, we're hoping the cortisone shot will take the pain away and I can continue to play," Beltran said. "If it doesn't get better, they might need to take it out."

Meaning a surgery that would cost Beltran about six weeks of playing time.

"We'll worry about that if it gets to that point," Joe Girardi said. "My hope is it won't get to that point, the shot will work and we'll have him in a few days."

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Girardi added later: "I think you have to give the cortisone shot a chance to work. They believe it's an old bone spur but it's aggravating his elbow now. If in a couple days, he doesn't feel better, then my level of concern would be pretty high."

The injury occurred late in Monday's game when Beltran, the designated hitter, took swings in the batting cage to keep loose. He was taken out in the seventh for pinch hitter John Ryan Murphy.

"I was taking swings in the cage and felt a sharp pain," Beltran said. "Took another one and felt the same. So I told Joe I wasn't going to be able to continue."

The Yankees are hoping that Beltran's condition improves dramatically after the cortisone shot, but that would be a rare piece of good news on the injury front for a club that has had three starting pitchers hit the DL in the last month.

The pitching issues have been bad enough without the attrition starting to take place on other parts of the roster.

Mark Teixeira, back in the lineup at DH Tuesday, has battled a tight groin and Ichiro Suzuki was unavailable a second straight game with a sore lower back.

Reliever Shawn Kelley was sent to the DL Tuesday with a strained lumbar spine and outfielder Zoilo Almonte was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Adam Warren will shift into the eighth-inning setup role, Girardi said, with Dellin Betances used primarily in the seventh.

"It puts a little more responsibility on Warren and Betances, and those guys will have to step up," Girardi said. "But they've been stepping up all year for us."

The manager also said closer David Robertson, whom he has tried to avoid pitching more than one inning, might be called on for a four- or five-out save.

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"You have to fight through it, that's what you have to do," Girardi said of the flurry of injuries. "No one's going to feel sorry for you; I don't feel sorry for us. We have to fight through it and find a way to get it done. That's all you can do. We had a lot of practice at it last year, so we're used to it."

Rest for CC. Girardi said CC Sabathia was seen by Dr. James Andrews Tuesday. Andrews agreed with the original diagnosis of inflammation of the knee and prescribed rest.

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