UPDATE: Sunday, August 3 at 6:04 p.m. ET
Manager Joe Girardi updated the media on Masahiro Tanaka, who is scheduled to have an exam on Monday to determine how his injured elbow is responding to treatment. If all goes well, Tanaka can start playing catch, per Erik Boland of Newsday:
Girardi said Tanaka will meet again with doctor tomorrow. Could possibly play catch if he's given the clearance to do so
— Erik Boland (@eboland11) August 3, 2014
End of Update
It has been three weeks since Tanaka was placed on the disabled list with a slight tear in his UCL. Despite the negative diagnosis, Tanaka avoided Tommy John surgery for now and was given a six-week timetable for return.
But that could change if treatment doesn't help heal Tanaka's elbow, and if he needs the surgery, the Yanks can kiss Tanaka goodbye for the rest of this season and all of next.
The exam on Monday will determine how well Tanaka's elbow is responding to treatment and if he is still feeling pain.
Source: Yankees looking for incremental upgrades, not big pieces. Monday much bigger day. They expect news on Masahiro Tanaka's progress.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2014
If everything checks out on Monday, Tanaka will continue to rehab and will be about three weeks or so from returning. If there is any issue at all, Tanaka will undoubtedly be shut down and New York will go from there.
Should Tanaka return in late August as is hoped, the Yanks would get a huge boost to their rotation that no trade could have given them. Tanaka wasn't only the Yanks' best pitcher, but he proved to be one of the best in the major leagues in his first season.
Even if he returns, it may be too late for the Yankees, who are already trailing in the wild card. Until Tanaka returns, the Yanks will have to survive and keep themselves in the race or it may be pointless to bring the Japanese star back this year.
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Tags: Baseball, Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi, Masahiro Tanaka, MLB, New York, New York Yankees
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