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Greg Bird’s return to Yankees lineup coming into focus

The first baseman starts a rehab assignment Thursday and could be back as soon as May 20.

First baseman Greg Bird could return to the

First baseman Greg Bird could return to the Yankees as soon as May 20. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

The specifics of Greg Bird’s return to the Yankees are starting to come into focus.

The first baseman, who underwent surgery to remove a bone spur on his right ankle March 27, will start a rehab assignment with High-A Tampa on Thursday.

Aaron Boone said his understanding is Bird should be cleared to return anywhere from “10 to 20 days” after the start of his rehab assignment, meaning the 25-year-old could possibly be back as soon as May 20.

“Just depending how it goes,” Boone said. “I think one of the good things for Greg is that he basically had a full spring training. Obviously we’ve got to build him up to where he’s playing nine innings, where he’s playing nine innings back-to-back, and he’s bouncing back [healthy]. But we’re very optimistic as to where he is in his return and feel like we’re starting to see the light at the end there.”

Slow down

Though Brandon Drury, on the DL since April 7 with migraines and blurry vision, hasn’t experienced any setbacks in his rehab assignment, the third baseman hasn’t completely put those symptoms behind him.

“The treatments he’s doing we feel like, and he feels like, are really helping,” Boone said. “Don’t necessarily feel like he’s all the way to where he wants to be or where we want him to be.”

Drury has been in rehab games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Double-A Trenton, playing most of the time with the team that is home as he’s still coming to New York for treatment.

“Ultimately we’re always going for the cure,” Boone said, “but also getting to a point where day in and day out he feels like it’s not something that’s holding him back.”

Price sidelined by video games?

The mystery surrounding David Price’s numbness in his pitching hand seems to have been solved, but with an unusual diagnosis: carpal tunnel syndrome.

Alex Cora said Wednesday that Price underwent a battery of tests in Boston and the medical staff came up with an affliction more common among office workers than baseball players. There is another high-risk group that Price fits into, however — the video-game crowd, and the Red Sox’s $217-million pitcher is known to be an avid gamer throughout his career, including the recent phenomenon, Fortnite.

When a reporter suggested Price may have suffered the condition lately from Fortnite, Cora didn’t rule it out. “From what I know, David has been playing video games his whole life,” the manager said. “When he comes back, we’ll talk about it.”

Price was scratched from Wednesday night’s start against the Yankees and Cora was hopeful he’d make his next turn, but wasn’t sure when that might be.

“To me, this is good news,” Cora said.

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