New York Yankees: Greg Bird to Have Potentially Season-Ending Ankle Surgery


First baseman Greg Bird of the New York Yankees will undergo surgery on his problematic right ankle on Tuesday and could miss the rest of the season.

The New York Yankees received bad news about first baseman Greg Bird on Monday night. As Mike Axisa of CBS Sports reports, the 24-year-old will undergo surgery on his problematic right ankle. It appears that the surgeon will be tasked with removing an extra bone in his foot to correct a condition called os trigonum syndrome.

Bird has not returned to action ever since initially landing on the disabled list back in early May, although the injury stems from when he fouled a pitch off his ankle during the final week of spring training. The left-handed batter attempted to play through the pain, but the results were certainly far from ideal. Bird recorded just six hits over the course of 19 games in April before making his way to the disabled list.

Now, it is questionable whether or not the youngster will even be able to return this season. Manager Joe Girardi said that the minimum amount of time for recovering is six weeks, meaning that he could potentially return to action in early September. Given that the first baseman will have missed an extraordinary amount of time by then, it seems unlikely that the New York Yankees would bring him back for just the last week or two. Allowing Bird to extend his recovery and ease back into baseball activities over the off-season might be a safe move.

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All in all, this continues an unfortunate turn of events for a player who once appeared to be a future cornerstone for the New York Yankees. Bird broke into the big leagues back in August of 2015, serving as a backup for both Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, the team’s first baseman and designated hitter at the time, respectively. He played quite well down the stretch, showing solid power and on-base ability. Advanced metrics pegged his bat as creating runs at a rate 37 percent better than the league-average player.

During the following off-season, Bird derailed all plans for growth in 2016. His right shoulder first bothered him during the prior spring, but the issue reappeared during the beginning of the 2015-2016 off-season. Surgery was not recommended, as David Waldstein of the New York Times chronicles, and the first baseman pursued program to strengthen the surrounding muscles. By the end of spring training, however, it became apparent that surgery would be required to fix what was by then a torn labrum.

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Both Greg Bird and the New York Yankees had hoped that he would be able to make a full recovery and dominate at first base during 2017 after Mark Teixeira departed the team, but that has clearly not come to fruition. Sure, he made a full recovery and dominated during spring training, but his right ankle prevented that success from carrying over into the regular season. If all goes well, he may be able to take a crack at fulfilling his promise in the big leagues in October. Otherwise, it appears that 2018 will be the next chance for Greg Bird’s major-league career to take flight.