Greg Bird’s troublesome rehab process has been shut down again, and general manager Brian Cashman said Monday that the next step could be exploratory surgery on his right ankle, which mysteriously still is causing him discomfort.
Bird, on the disabled list since May 2 with what originally was diagnosed as a bone bruise, struggled to even take batting practice this past week at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, prompting the Yankees to call him back to New York. The plan is for Bird to see another round of specialists, but that won’t happen until after the Fourth of July holiday.
“Obviously, there’s something going on that we haven’t been able to get our hands on,” Cashman said. “All the diagnostic testing has shown the bone bruise has healed, yet he still has pain.”
Bird was just as puzzled about the injury, but he thought a number of other options remained before surgery would be necessary. “You don’t want to have surgery,” said Bird, who missed all of last season because of a shoulder repair. “I’ve had surgery. It [expletive]. It’s been brought up, I’ll say that. But I think it’s a long ways away.”
Bird, 24, began the season as the Yankees’ starting first baseman, but he never recovered after fouling a pitch off his ankle at the end of spring training. He played only 19 games, batting .100 (6-for-60), before winding up on the DL. He began rehab June 1, but that lasted only 12 days before he was sent for more tests. The Yankees hoped he would rebound after a June 20 cortisone shot, but that hasn’t been the case.
“These things happen,” Bird said. “I’m going to play a long time. For me, this is a bump in a long road. It’s just part of the process.”
“We’ve had circumstances where guys have a problem, they do MRIs, they do X-rays and it shows nothing, nothing, nothing,” Cashman said. “And then you open them up, and then they find stuff. So I certainly have no interest in volunteering that we’re going to have to open him up, but at some point, I can’t say a surgery for something undetermined isn’t possible, because so far, the complaints are real.”
CC gets holiday start
CC Sabathia is scheduled to go directly from the disabled list to the mound Tuesday. He is listed as the starter against the Blue Jays’ J.A. Happ. Adam Warren also is eligible to come off the DL, and Joe Girardi said he believes both pitchers will be healthy enough to join the active roster. “That’s a good feeling, being on the other end, receiving good news,” he said . . . Matt Holliday, out with a viral infection, is feeling better, Girardi said.