No surgery for Tanaka, out for at least 6 weeks
The news on Masahiro Tanaka was good and bad. The good news is that the Japanese righthander does not require surgery at the present time. The bad news is that Tanaka will be lost to the Yankees for at least six weeks and could eventually need Tommy John surgery anyway.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters on a conference call that Tanaka has been diagnosed with a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament. Three doctors reached the same conclusion regarding Tanaka’s elbow condition that surgery is not recommended at this time and that he will undergo a rehabilitation program that could have him back with the Yankees in six weeks.
That is probably the best-case scenario the Yankees could have hoped for after learning that Tanaka had pain in his right elbow following his start Tuesday night in which he allowed season-high totals of five earned runs and 10 hits in a 5-3 loss to the Indians.
The key now is how the pitcher proceeds through his rehab. Any setback could result in his needing surgery that would shelve him for more than a year. The Yanks do not even want to think about that dire possibility.