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Luis Severino suffers setback, will undergo MRI on shoulder

The Yankees' ace, who has been sidelined since March 5, has not been able to progress past throwing off flat ground.

Luis Severino of the New York Yankees walks

Luis Severino of the New York Yankees walks to the dugout as he leaves in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium on Oct. 8, 2018. Credit: Jim McIsaac

HOUSTON — The steady progress that Luis Severino had been making in his rehab from right rotator cuff inflammation came to a sudden halt Monday.

And Aaron Boone didn’t try to hide his concern.

“Sevy didn’t feel as great today, so we’re going to send him to New York,” Boone said before Monday night’s game against the Astros.

Severino, shelved on March 5 after feeling discomfort in the shoulder while warming up before what was supposed to be his first exhibition start, will be evaluated by team doctor Christopher Ahmad on Tuesday and will undergo another MRI.

He had been throwing on flat ground for about two weeks and had stretched out as far as 130 feet on Saturday. Still, there had been some growing organizational concern in recent days — particularly in Tampa, where Severino has been rehabbing — that he had not yet gotten to the point of being ready to go to the mound.

“Just not quite what it needs to be,” Boone said of what Severino was feeling. “I’m hoping that it’s just him not being able to quite get over the hump yet.

“The original testing that we did with him [March 5] led us to be pretty confident, but we have to make sure he’s right, and the fact that he hasn’t been able to graduate from the flat-ground throwing to the mound, we have to try and answer those questions as best we can . . .

“He’s been saying, ‘Yeah, I feel OK,’ but why isn’t he getting to that point where, ‘Yeah, let’s get on the mound’? Best to have Dr. Ahmad see him and cross every ‘T’ and dot every ‘I’ to make sure we’re getting all the answers we can.”

The setback, which set alarm bells off throughout the organization, came as a surprise.

“A couple of days ago, when he got out to 130 feet, was probably the best day he’s had,” Boone said. “And then today just not as great, so we just want to make sure we feel really good about it and he feels really good about it.”

For the moment, nobody involved feels especially good about it.

Monday’s news overshadowed the previous day’s positive news about the rotation. CC Sabathia felt fine after a rehab start Sunday for high Class A Tampa in which he allowed one run, one hit and one walk with six strikeouts in 4 2⁄3 innings.

Boone reiterated what he said after Sunday’s victory in Baltimore, that Sabathia is set to rejoin the rotation at some point during this weekend’s series against the White Sox at the Stadium.

“CC threw the ball really well,” Boone said. “We plan on him making his next start with us.”

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