After his most recent setback and MRI, Brett Gardner and his team of doctors have decided that the outfielder will undergo arthroscopic surgery next week to remove inflamed tissue from his elbow. Gardner had only appeared in nine games this season, but his speed on the bases and tremendous outfield defense will certainly be missed for the rest of the year.
It seemed like he was on the verge of a return a few times this year before setbacks kept him sidelined indefinitely. Dr. Christopher Ahmad will perform the procedure, and the Yankees are proceeding as though Gardner will not return until 2013.
The team now has to weigh its options to figure out if a trade at this month's deadline is necessary to replace Gardner, or if they will stick with in-house options like Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones, Chris Dickerson, and a host of other players that may be exposed when trying to become every day players. If the price remains too high on any trade options, they will have to hope that they can continue to get good production out of the Ibanez/Jones platoon and that one of the players in AAA catches fire at the right time if the veterans begin to tank.