NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Carlos Beltran has decided to roll the dice, knowing full well if this gamble fails he’s going to miss significant time.
The veteran outfielder got a second opinion on his ailing right elbow on Tuesday, and came away from his meeting with Dr. James Andrews thinking it’s worth the risk to try to help the Yankees now, as opposed to late in the summer.
Andrews confirmed the diagnosis of a bone spur in the elbow, an injury for which Beltran has already received two cortisone shots. The 37-year-old slugger, who plans to play through the pain as long as it is manageable, will reportedly begin swinging a bat on Monday. If the pain proves to be too much, he will opt for surgery to shave down the spur, a procedure that will cost him a minimum of two months.
“We’re in a gray area,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on Tuesday. “It’s one of those things where, listen, it’s been diagnosed. It’s an old bone spur that the treatment protocol is zap it with a cortisone injection or two. He’s at the two. Give it a two-week period and if it responds to that completely you can avoid the surgery. If he does not then you are going to have to have an in-season surgery that takes him out from anywhere … they’ve said low end six weeks.”
Cashman said a more realistic timetable would be two to three months given Beltran’s age and the fact that he needs the elbow not only to swing a bat but also to throw.
“I’ve told Carlos, no heroes. Either it works or it doesn’t work, but if you need it in-season, you need it in-season and we’ll get you back when it’s resolved,” Cashman said.
Beltran was in the throes of a 5-for-43 slump before being forced out of the Subway Series against the Mets. Overall, he’s batting .234 with 5 home runs and 15 RBI.
Beltran was placed on the disabled list last Wednesday, retroactive to May 13. If he gets through the workouts without the pain worsening he would be eligible to play again on May 28 in St. Louis. The Yankees then have an off day and begin a seven-game homestand on May 30 with the first of three against Minnesota.
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