NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Yankees first baseman Greg Bird came out of surgery Tuesday morning determined to return to the diamond this season.
Bird said in a statement that he underwent successful surgery to remove the os trigonum — an extra bone — from his right ankle. The procedure was performed by Dr. Martin O’Malley at the Hospital for Special Surgery
Bird, 24, is expected to miss the next six weeks, which means, barring any setbacks, he could be back by September.
“In nearly four months since first injuring my ankle, it had been increasingly frustrating to have only questions and no answers,” Bird said in a statement. “All this time, I have wanted nothing more than to be out there playing the game I love as a member of the New York Yankees.
“My season is not over. I plan to do everything in my power to return and help our team win in 2017.
After a strong spring training, Bird hit just .100 with one home run in 19 games to start the season. He was placed on the disabled list on May 2 with a bone bruise on his right ankle. After one rehab assignment was shut down when the pain resurfaced, Bird visited several doctors to determine a course of treatment.
Bird missed all of last season while recovering from shoulder surgery.
In Bird’s absence, finding a dependable first baseman has been problematic for the Yankees. Chris Carter, last season’s NL co-home run champ who was signed as insurance for Bird, batted just .201 with eight homers before being released earlier this month. Tyler Austin, who was expected to compete for the starting first base job in spring training, hasn’t been able to stay healthy, either.
The Yankees called up Ji-Man Choi from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and they traded for Brewers minor-leaguer Garrett Cooper and promptly promoted him to the major leagues. New York also is reportedly exploring another trade for a first baseman.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)