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Yankees GM Admits Chance Of Season-Ending Surgery For Mark Teixeira

Mark Teixeira (credit: Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Mark Teixeira (credit: Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

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TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mark Teixeira says he has a partially torn tendon sheath in his right wrist and didn’t rule out missing up to two months of the regular season.

And there’s the potential for him to sit out for much longer.

The first baseman rejoined the Yankees at spring training Sunday after getting hurt March 5 while with the U.S. team at the World Baseball Classic. The injury initially was announced as a strained wrist.

“The tendon is fine,” Teixeira said. “That’s the good thing. It’s the sheath that holds the tendon over. … It’s the little covering that holds the tendon in place. When you rotate your wrist, that tendon will snap in and out if the sheath is gone, and so the tendon sheath just got damaged a little bit, and we just want to make sure that the tendon is sitting in the groove right and it’s stable. If that doesn’t heal, then the tendon has a chance to get damaged, and you really don’t want that.”

Teixeira plans to start limited baseball drills in about a week and is optimistic that surgery will not be necessary.

General manager Brian Cashman, however, admitted there was a 30-percent chance Teixeira could need season-ending surgery, calling it “the worst-case scenario.”

“If it was a completely torn sheath, even with a stable tendon, that would automatically be surgery. If it was a partially torn sheath but an unstable tendon, that would be surgery,” Cashman said. “This has a 70 percent chance of healing on its own without surgery. We’re hoping that will be the case.”

Teixeira was hurt while swinging a weighted bat left-handed off a tee in an indoor cage during pregame warmups with the U.S. at the World Baseball Classic. The Yankees have said Teixeira will be out until at least May.

“I’ve said all along I was more concerned about Tex than (Curtis Granderson) because bones heal,” said manager Joe Girardi. “Wrists you’re always worried about.”

Said hitting coach Kevin Long: “May as well just cross our fingers and hope that it turns out OK.”

Teixeira is not blaming his national team participation for the injury.

“It has nothing to do with the WBC,” he said. “It would be one thing if we weren’t playing games. We started playing games on the 23rd of February. February 23rd, think about it.”

“So we’re playing games,” Teixeira added. “It doesn’t matter if you’re WBC, doesn’t matter if you’re spring training, I was hitting off a tee. It was a freak injury. If nobody was playing baseball and we decided to show up in January or February and start playing nine inning games, then people would say, ‘OK, what is this WBC?’ but we’re playing games.”

Teixeira expects to start swinging a bat one-handed and fielding grounders after a week of cardio work. He says the wrist is stiff, but there is no pain.

“This is something that if I come back early, I’m not going to be very good and I can blow it out and risk surgery, and then I’m gone the whole year,” Teixeira said.

Oh boy. How will the Yankees fare without Teixeira for two months or longer? Be heard in the comments…

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)