Yankees still searching for clarity on Corey Kluber’s injury

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Corey Kluber was scheduled to meet with renowned Los Angeles surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache again on Thursday morning, Aaron Boone said Wednesday.

The Yankees were still trying to figure out the best way to move forward with his shoulder issue, before Wednesday night’s game against the Rays at the Stadium. The Yankees manager did not give a clear answer about Kluber’s injury or when a return would be possible.

“I’m going to hold off. He’s actually still in L.A. now,” Boone said. “And getting more information. I think he has an appointment in the morning again tomorrow. So I’m going to hold off on it because it’s still kind of gathering.”

Dr. ElAttrache is the Dodgers’ team doctor and an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles. He is known for treatment and research of knee, shoulder, and elbow injuries.

Kluber was initially diagnosed with a strained sub scapula muscle by Yankees team doctors a week ago. Since then, the team said he has undergone more imaging on the shoulder, including a scan with dye injected into the shoulder.

The Yankees signed Kluber to a one-year, $11 million deal this winter after Kluber missed all but one inning of 2020 with a torn teres major muscle in his shoulder. Kluber had worked out at the private facility of Eric Cressey, the Yankees head of performance and health, over the winter. The Yankees said they had a unique insight on Kluber’s health because of this relationship.

NEXT UP

After sending Mike Ford to the minors Tuesday night, the Yankees recalled reliever Brooks Kriske to take his roster spot. The Yankees bullpen pitched six scoreless innings Tuesday night and have posted 15 straight scoreless innings.

Boone said they were concerned about having enough arms out there.

“It’s just some coverage today, obviously, with the usage we’ve had in the pen the last couple of days and then extra innings yesterday, we felt like we needed the extra coverage today,” Boone said.

That leaves the Yankees without a true first baseman on the 26-man roster as Luke Voit rehabs from a strained oblique injury. They have a power hitting Chris Gittens in Scranton, but he is not on the 40-man roster.

So that means natural second baseman DJ LeMahieu will be playing at first for the foreseeable future.

“I mean, with the roster we have right now, I think that’s evident. Obviously, hopefully we get Luke back in a couple weeks,” Boone said. “And obviously that factors in play. Yeah, right now we’ll see how we move forward over the weekend.”

BASE RUNNING REMEDIAL

Long before Wednesday night’s game, Gary Sanchez, Miguel Andujar and Clint Frazier were out on the field, standing at second base and talking, presumably about base running. Sanchez had his second costly base-running error in the last three games Tuesday night. After leading off the seventh with a hard-hit double, he tried to take third on a ground ball right in front of him to shortstop.

The Yankees lead the majors with 27 outs on the bases. Boone said that those mental errors have to stop — and that little gathering on the field Wednesday afternoon was an attempt to clean it up.

“We’re getting guys out and just talking through some different situations,” Boone said. “A lot of times they’re there in the moment, instinctual things... a lot of this comes down to pre-pitch work, so you’re putting yourself in a position to react as best you can.

“Obviously, in spring training, we do a lot of base running, where you practice those reactions,” he continued. “It is a little tougher during the season, but, the base running has been enough of an issue for us that there’s certain things that we feel like we need to address and at least get them out there a little bit to just talk through some scenarios.”

BRITTON UPDATE

Zack Britton threw 27 pitches in his second minor league rehab appearance. The lefty set-up man allowed two runs on a two-out home run in the one inning he pitched for Double-A Somerset. Britton walked one and struck out two.

Britton is coming back from surgery to remove a bone chip from his left elbow. He began the season on the injured list and made his first rehab start on Saturday and then was held back three days to throw a side session at the Stadium on Monday.

He is expected to need four to six minor league rehab games before he is ready to rejoin the big league club and is expected back sometime in the next week

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