Mark Teixeira to have season-ending wrist surgery
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Mark Teixeira had a feeling Sunday night his 2013 season likely was over.
That became official Wednesday when the first baseman announced he would undergo season-ending surgery on his right wrist, an injury suffered in preparation for the World Baseball Classic.
"It's very tough," Teixeira said. "I've been very blessed my entire career to be relatively healthy. I've averaged 150 games the first 10 years of my career and I'll play 15 this year, so that's completely out of the norm for me."
Teixeira missed the first two months of the season with a partially torn tendon sheath in his right wrist, an injury sustained March 5 in Arizona as he was preparing to play for the U.S. in the WBC.
Teixeira returned May 31 and played in 15 games before complaining of discomfort in the wrist. He received a cortisone shot June 16 and was placed back on the disabled list two days later. Speaking June 18, Teixeira said he was optimistic he'd return when the 15-day stint was up, but on Sunday, a week after the cortisone shot produced little improvement, he knew it wasn't to be.
"I usually respond very well to cortisone shots," he said. "When it didn't work, and I wasn't getting any better, I knew it was probably going to be bad news."
An MRI with dye contrast performed on the wrist showed that "the sheath has not adequately healed," according to the Yankees, and that surgery was the recommendation of the four doctors who evaluated him, a group that included club physician Christopher Ahmad and three hand specialists.
Teixeira hit .151 (.270 OBP) with three homers and 12 RBIs in his 15 games, with three of those homers coming in his first week back. The first baseman said he had "no regrets" about how his rehab was handled because of that first week. It was during the team's 10-game West Coast trip June 6-16 that Teixeira felt he re-injury the wrist, though he couldn't pinpoint when.
"It could have been one check swing, one bad swing, could have been one violent swing that finally did it again, or just the constant wear," the switch-hitting Teixeira said. "You guys know, baseball players, we swing the bat real hard, it's very violent, it's a very violent swing."
Teixeira said he's been assured surgery will fix the problem permanently.
"I asked one of them [doctors] once the surgery is done, is there any worry that I'll ever have any more problems, and he said absolutely not," he said. "So this isn't one of those degenerative conditions in a joint where you need to kind of protect it the rest of your career. It's a torn tendon sheath . . . once it's fixed, I should be OK."
General manager Brian Cashman said Lyle Overbay would continue as the team's everyday first baseman, but as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches, expect him to pursue a corner infielder -- preferably a righthanded hitter -- as well as a catcher and outfielder, the latter two positions being ones he'd already looking at.
"My job is always to see if we can improve regardless of position," Cashman said. "If something declares itself as an opportunity that makes sense that we can acquire and get our hands on and the price makes sense, we'll obviously have to look at it."