Posted on June 15, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
Not long ago, the New York Yankees thought Mark Teixeira would be lost for the season due to a knee injury. However, not only is the first baseman planning on coming back this season after deciding to rehab the injury in lieu of surgery, but he’s also planning on coming back shockingly quickly. Teixeira says he wants to be back with the Yankees on June 24, roughly two weeks before he was expected to return when he passed on surgery and decided to rehab his knee.
Teixeira went on the DL on June 4 with torn cartilage in his right knee. He soon announced that he would pass on surgery that would have likely ended his season, and instead opt for treatment that could allow him to return to the field this season. Apparently, that treatment is working far better than expected, as Teixeira’s return date is far sooner than anyone could have expected.
“I feel really good,” Teixeira said. “I’m actually surprised with how good I feel.” Teixeira has received a combination of cortisone shots to help with the swelling and pain in his knee and shots of lubricant designed to prevent the cartilage in his knee from tearing any further. The first baseman believes the treatment will allow him to play for the rest of the season.
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Teixeira’s plan is to play in minor league rehab games next week Tuesday and Wednesday, and after an off day on Thursday, return to the Yankees the following Friday. Prior to that, he will do some hitting and take ground balls, but Teixeira is confident he’ll be able to come back. “You always want to know how it responds,” Teixeira explains. “So you play first base, hopefully run around the bases a little bit, and if the knee doesn’t blow up on you, that means you’re in a good spot.”
He says that he’ll need to continue to receive shots throughout the season that may force him to the sidelines temporarily. Assuming he’s able to return, Teixeira expects to get another round of shots around the all-star break and then once more later in the season. But other than those two occasions, he believes he can play out the season.
Of course, Teixeira hasn’t played all that well this season, hitting just .180 with three home runs in 48 games. But he believes he can get back on track once he starts playing regularly. “My timing has been bad all year. So, hopefully it’s going to click once I come back,” he explains.
The Yankees would surely welcome Teixeira back at first base considering their other options. Greg Bird has missed all season with an injury, Dustin Ackley was ruled out for the rest of the season earlier this month, and Chris Parmalee is also on the DL. Right now, the Yankees are trying to get by with utility man Ryan Refsnyder and the newly-signed Ike Davis at first base. Thus far, the team has been reluctant to call up Nick Swisher, who is currently playing with New York’s triple-A affiliate.
It’s always seemed like a bit of a long shot for Teixeira to come back and help the Yankees this season, but if he’s going to do it, he needs to do it soon. The Yankees are back under .500 and struggling to stay within striking distance in the AL East. If they can’t start to turn things around soon, the Yankees won’t be relevant in the playoff picture the final two months of the season. Teixeira is trying to come back as soon as possible to prevent that from happening.