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Carlos Beltran could return from injury later this week

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Mike McGinnis

Some good news for Yankees fans as Carlos Beltran looks to be eyeing a return to the majors sooner than most people thought. After spending time resting his elbow and taking a few swings every day, he is scheduled to go down to Tampa and play in three extended spring training games. Brian Cashman believes he could be back within the week, as early as Thursday, June 5th. After it looked like he was just days away from needing surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow, this comes as a complete surprise. When was the last time rehab over surgery actually worked?

Beltran has been out since May 12th when he initially hyperextended his elbow while taking batting practice mid-game. It must have irritated something because word is that this is not a new injury, so instead of being something that needs to be removed immediately, it turns out to be something that he's been living with and his body just has to readjust around it. Whether he ends up needing the surgery now or not, Beltran plans to have the bone spur removed in the offseason in order to make sure this doesn't happen again in the future.

Yes, he's only hitting .234/.286/.430 on the season, but Ichiro Suzuki has hit .241/.371/.241 since becoming a full-time member of the lineup, Zoilo Almonte is now 2-for-15 since the injury, and Alfonso Soriano has hit a terrible .133/.156/.233 in that time. It's easy to see that that production could actually be an improvement over what they have now and you have to expect Beltran to hit better than how he has. With the way this offense has been lately, I'd much rather see him in the lineup over any of them.

The Yankees have a lot of problems at the moment, but injury seems to be one of their biggest. Mark Texiera only made it a game and a half into his return to the lineup before he had to be removed again. His wrist flare up may be more serious than everyone initially thought, so if they have to put him on the DL, they're going to be in trouble. Michael Pineda was shutdown after hitting a setback in his rehab from a strained muscle in his shoulder/back. If they're going to get reinforcements, it could be Carlos Beltran who comes in to save the day first.