The news just keeps on coming. About 20 minutes before the first pitch of the second game of today’s doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays, Yankees GM Brian Cashman called a press conference to announce the results from Phil Hughes’ MRI earlier today.
“He’s been getting better, but today they decided to be move proactive because he wasn’t getting better quick enough for them,” Cashman said. “The MRI showed that he has inflammation coming from an old injury in ’04, which was a herniated disc. It’s not considered serious. It would normally resolve itself just with some more time, but because of the time of year, we decided to go proactive and hit it with an epidural.”
Hughes has been sent home to lay down and rest after receiving his shot. Cashman stressed that the motivation for the epidural was to speed up the recovery so that Hughes can remain an option for the postseason.
“We believe he’ll be fine and he’ll still pitch for us,” Cashman said. “We believe he’ll pitch maybe this weekend, whenever Joe slots him in, I don’t know when.”
Cashman said that it’s more likely that Hughes will pitch sometime next week in final series of the season in Tampa. That probably leaves Freddy Garcia, AJ Burnett and Ivan Nova to pitch against Boston this weekend.
Again, Cashman was quite clear that this is not a serious injury and that they expect Hughes back at some point, but this is certainly not the news that you want to hear in what has been a wacky year for the promising young starter.
“The doc told me that it’s nowhere near as serious as it was back then, it’s just an aggravation of an old injury,” Cashman said. “If it was earlier in the season, we would just give him more time and it would resolve itself. But because the clock is ticking and October is right around the corner, we just decided to hit it with the big bang and try to put it behind him now.”
Oh by way, it’s raining here at Yankee Stadium. Stay tuned for any word on a possible delay…