Believe it or not, New York Yankees pitcher Corey Kluber played catch at Yankee Stadium on Friday afternoon.
Why is this a big deal? Kluber was placed on the injured list just over a week ago with a subscapularis strain in his right shoulder that was initially expected shut him down from throwing for at least four weeks.
But not so fast. While it is a promising sign to see that Kluber is able to throw, his timetable to return is still set at the eight-week mark.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone addressed Kluber’s status prior to his club’s first game against the Red Sox this season.
“He played catch and he will continue that, but I don’t think he’s necessarily getting ramped up right now,” Boone said. “I know there’ll be catch play here for I’m assuming several days and then there’ll be these little checkpoints of, ‘OK. now do we graduate to the next thing?’”
Kluber’s progression is dependent on how his shoulder responds. If he experiences tightness or discomfort, it could prolong his rehab.
However, the good news is that Kluber got the green light to start throwing after receiving third and fourth opinions from Texas Rangers physician Dr. Keith Meister and Los Angeles Dodgers physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache. Initially, Yankees team doctors told him he could not throw for at least a month.
Despite having a long road ahead, Boone and the Yankees are happy with the early steps their right-hander has made.
“It went well,” Boone said. “As we sit here right now, he’s doing really well. He feels really good, so hopefully this is another step in the process of getting him back."
“There’s been a lot of eyes on this, and I think what it comes down to is you’ve got a guy with a lot of innings,” Boone explained. “I think it’s trying to understand, is it an acute injury? What are some chronic things that are just wear and tear of a guy that’s had a lot of innings on his arm?”
The Yankees are going to play it safe with Kluber moving forward. Although they could really use him back in their rotation as soon as possible given the way he was pitching, they’d much rather have him back and healthy in time to help them make a push for the postseason and beyond.
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