Better news on Corey Kluber’s shoulder, but timetable remains the same

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NEW YORK — Corey Kluber apparently got better news from his second and third opinions, but that doesn’t mean the Yankees’ right-hander will be back on the mound at Yankee Stadium any time soon. Kluber was told he could begin throwing on flat ground in the next few days.

Still, he is expected to be out around eight weeks total.

“I would say there’s some optimism. He’ll probably start a flat ground program sometime in the next few days,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before Thursday’s series finale against the Rays.

That is more optimistic than the initial diagnosis, when he was shut down from all throwing for four weeks. Boone, however, said, he expects Kluber will still be out about the same amount of time.

“I still think it looks like it’s a similar timeline, but a flat ground program will probably start sooner rather than later,” Boone said.

Kluber was in Los Angeles meeting with Dr. Neal ElAttrache, a surgeon who is considered at the forefront of the treatment of injuries to joints like the elbow and shoulder. The 35-year-old, two-time Cy Young winner missed all but one inning last season because of a torn teres major muscle in his right shoulder. The Yankees signed him to a one-year, $11 million deal after he spent the winter rehabbing with Eric Cressey, who is the Yankees’ director of sports performance and health and runs a private training facility.

Kluber’s spot in the rotation comes up on Friday night in the opening game of the first series against the Red Sox, but Boone would not say yet how they would fill it. Last time through, Deivi Garcia made a spot start, but having been optioned back to Triple-A, he is not yet eligible. Michael King, who made a spot start on Sunday, is on the 26-man roster and is available.

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