Clarke Schmidt Is Seeking a Second Opinion on Elbow Injury

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Nearly two months after Clarke Schmidt was first sidelined with a strain in his common extensor tendon, the Yankees' top pitching prospect is still feeling discomfort in his right elbow. 

That in mind, Schmidt will seek out a second opinion for his injury on Monday, per Yankees manager Aaron Boone.

"Clarke is actually still not throwing," Boone revealed on Sunday morning. "We'll see where [the second opinion] leads. He's still just having a little bit of discomfort on that anterior side."

When Schmidt was shut down in February, all parties involved expected the right-hander to be able to resume his throwing program a few weeks down the line. There were no concerns regarding any sort of surgery at the time, with his ligament intact since the discomfort is on the opposite side of his UCL.

That process, getting Schmidt back to throwing, has been delayed constantly as the spring has progressed.

The 25-year-old won't throw until he's feeling completely asymptomatic in his right elbow. As much as he's made progress since his initial diagnosis, he's still not there yet. 

"This is a situation where [he won't throw] until he's completely asymptomatic," Boone explained. "He's gotten close to that point of throwing and doing everything—upper body workouts, things in the weight room, whatever they do to get you to that point where you're ready to throw—and there's still a little bit of discomfort so he hasn't been cleared to take that final step and start throwing."

Boone doesn't believe Schmidt will need surgery, but admitted it's been concerning that the hurler is still feeling discomfort from the strain. 

"We expected him back and starting a throwing program several weeks ago," Boone added. 

Clarke Schmidt Is the Future of the Yankees' Rotation

Schmidt made his big-league debut a year ago, pitching in three games during the coronavirus-shortened campaign after he was called up from the Alternate Site. He was poised to contend for a spot in New York's starting rotation during spring training, but never got the chance due to the injury. 

Regardless of the right-hander's progress, he won't be eligible to come off the 60-day injured list for quite some time. With a history of arm injuries, though—including Tommy John surgery during his days at the University of South Carolina—the organization is hopeful to get a clean bill of health from their top pitching prospect sooner than later.

"Right now what I'm focused on is getting healthy," Schmidt said back in February. "That's my number one thing is taking it day-by-day, this is a process. Getting back on the field is my number one goal."


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