NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In the grand scheme of things, this news isn’t all that bad.
The Yankees announced Friday that Masahiro Tanaka’s comeback from an elbow injury is going to take a little longer than first thought.
The news shouldn’t come as a big surprise considering Tanaka last pitched in early July due to a slight tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, and basically did nothing for six weeks after getting a platelet-rich injection.
He’s simply not in shape.
Only recently had Tanaka started a throwing regimen, which was first made up of long-tossing in the outfield before progressing to a few pitches off flat ground and then eventually full-out bullpen sessions and simulated games showcasing his complete arsenal of pitches.
Tanaka threw 49 pitches during a simulated game on Thursday prior to the Yankees’ 3-2 loss at Detroit and reported no problems with the elbow. It appears the normal arm soreness that followed his series of workouts intensified overnight, forcing the Yankees to shut him down.
With the Yankees in Toronto for a weekend series, Tanaka was to fly back to New York, but the team said that no doctor’s appointments had been scheduled.
Tanaka told reporters his whole arm is sore, not the elbow.
“I want to be a little bit cautious. I haven’t been throwing for a number of weeks,” Tanaka said.
The Yankees (69-63) started play Friday three games out of the second wild card spot. They hope to have Tanaka back in September.
“We still have a whole month. I’m going to do my best to get back,” he said.
Signed to a seven-year, $155 million contract during the offseason, Tanaka went 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA before experiencing elbow pain following a start against the Indians in Cleveland on July 8.
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