The New York Yankees celebrated a small victory Monday morning. Their star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has been scheduled to play catch. Although, reports say that manager Joe Girardi was reluctant to admit the he was on the schedule to throw because he has not yet been evaluated by the Yankees’ medical staff. The examination is scheduled for Monday morning.
Masahiro Tanaka scheduled to play catch Mon. First step of many to see if he can avoid TJ surgery and pitch again this season.
— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) August 3, 2014
As Sweeny Murti points out this is the very first step in his road to recovery from a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. Tanaka chose the rehabilitation path instead of immediately going under the knife with the hope that he might be able to return to the Yankees this season.
However, just because the Cy Young Award and Rookie of the Year candidate chose the rehabilitation path does not mean that he will not need the surgery farther down the road which could be anytime between today and months from now.
Last season New York Mets’ pitcher Matt Harvey chose the same route as Tanaka but was unable to rehabilitate his elbow enough to pitch again and made the decision to get the surgery . Harvey was finally cleared to take to the mound for the first time since he had the surgery in October of last year.
Tanaka is determined to avoid the surgery at any cost but usually rehabilitation for a torn UCL is unsuccessful. Let’s hope that is choice works out for both him and the Yankees, who have already lost pitchers C.C. Sabathia and Ivan Nova for the year. Starter David Phelps also left his Sunday start with an injury. More to come on that soon.