Just when it looked like Luis Severino was knocking on the door of a clean bill of health, the right-hander finds himself back on the road to recovery.
Making a rehab start on Saturday with High-A Hudson Valley, Severino had to be helped off the field, sustaining a right groin injury during his second inning of work.
With two outs in the frame, Severino delivered a pitch and instantly grabbed toward his groin, hobbling off the back of the mound in clear discomfort. Unable to put weight on his right leg, Severino was guided off the field, draping his arms around members of the training staff.
Saturday's outing in Brooklyn, against the Mets' High-A affiliate, was Severino's second rehab start since undergoing Tommy John surgery last February.
Now, rather than focusing on the progress the right-hander has made on the mound over the last several weeks, bracing for his return to pinstripes, all parties involved will hold their breath until Severino's scheduled MRI on Sunday.
As was the case last week—when Severino took another "positive step" in an appearance with the Low-A Tampa Tarpons—the starter was lighting up the radar gun, looking like the dominant hurler he was earlier in his big-league career.
Expected to return to the Yankees next month, a boost to the rotation comparable to a deadline acquisition, this latest injury is a huge blow for a pitcher that's been battling injuries for the last 27 months.
After multiple seasons as the ace of New York's staff, Severino went down with a right shoulder injury in March 2019. Eventually landing on the 60-day injured list, Severino ended up making only three starts that season.
The next spring, looking to bounce back from a lost campaign, the 27-year-old felt some discomfort in his elbow shortly after reporting to Yankees camp. He wound up needing elbow surgery in late February, unable to step on a mound again for over a year.
Depending on how long Severino will be sidelined, New York's pitching depth will be tested. Besides, the rest of the Yankees' staff isn't completely healthy at the moment either. Corey Kluber is expected to miss eight weeks with a subscapularis muscle strain in his right shoulder.
Michael King has effectively been Kluber's replacement in the rotation, making three starts since the veteran's injury last month. The Yankees could also call on pitching prospect Deivi García, although the 21-year-old has been inconsistent in Triple-A after two shaky outings in the big leagues.
Otherwise, general manager Brian Cashman will need to make a few calls. The Yankees entered play on Saturday in third place in the loaded American League East, hanging on to a slim edge over the fourth-place Blue Jays. Gerrit Cole and the rest of the rotation have been solid this season, but three reliable starters won't cut it with three-plus months remaining in the regular season.
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