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Yankees injury update: Ben Heller has Tommy John surgery, Aaron Hicks is close to returning

The latest on the Yankees’ many injured players.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees are just ten days into the season, and the injuries are already starting to pile up. During the offseason, this team appeared to have a surplus of outfielders, but they have gone through all of the backups already. Friday’s game was particularly bad as four players exited with injuries before the game concluded. Luckily, Tyler Wade is only dealing with the flu, and Gary Sanchez’s leg pain was just a cramp. The Yankees were forced to place CC Sabathia and Brandon Drury on the disabled list, though. Here’s a look at how all of the injured players are doing, and who is close to returning.

Jacoby Ellsbury

After missing almost all of spring training with an oblique strain, Ellsbury started the season on the DL. He could have joined the team as soon as Thursday, but the Yankees were forced to shut him down last week after he experienced hip pain while running and hitting. He saw a hip specialist on Friday, but it doesn’t sound like they found anything. He hasn’t been able to resume baseball activities, but Aaron Boone is hopeful that this is a short-term injury.

Clint Frazier

It has been six weeks since Frazier hit his head and suffered a concussion while crashing into an outfield wall. Since then, Frazier has experienced terrible headaches, had to stop driving, and admitted to mixing up his cat’s names. The great news is that he is finally close to returning. He participated in a simulated game on Thursday, and the next step is for him to play in some minor league games. That will presumably happen early this week.

Aaron Hicks

Hicks has been on the disabled list with an intercostal muscle injury for nearly ten days now. He was injured during Opening Day, and the Yankees insisted on placing him on the DL despite his protests. If all goes according to plan, he will be the first outfielder to rejoin the team. Hicks is scheduled to participate in rehab games today and tomorrow, and could be activated from the disabled list as early as Tuesday to join the Yankees in Boston.

Greg Bird

The last update we received on Bird was that he had a successful surgery to remove the broken spur from his right ankle. He is still expected to miss 6-8 weeks. We won’t know more until he starts rehabbing.

Billy McKinney

Yankees outfielders might need to start wearing bubble wrap on the field. Following in Frazier’s footsteps, McKinney crashed hard into Toronto’s outfield wall last Saturday. He was diagnosed with a left AC joint shoulder sprain. Boone expects him to be on the disabled list for “at least a few weeks.”

CC Sabathia

Sabathia exited Friday night’s game in the fourth inning with right hip soreness. He was sent for an MRI, which came back clean. The Yankees still opted to place him on the disabled list with a hip strain. Boone called it a “cautious move.” It’s better to have him skip a start and get some extra rest now than let it linger and turn into a serious injury.

Brandon Drury

This one is bad. Drury left Friday night’s game with blurred vision and migraine symptoms. The Yankees were unaware of this, but Drury later confessed that he has experienced these symptoms for six years. He supposedly hid this from the Diamondbacks, too. He will be sent for testing on Monday, and hopefully the Yankees will be able to figure out what is going on.

Last week, the Yankees announced that Ben Heller had been placed on the disabled list with a bone spur in his elbow. That didn’t sound particularly alarming. Well, surprise, he had Tommy John surgery yesterday! The Yankees did not originally indicate that the injury was that serious, but we won’t be seeing Heller again for a long time.