Yankees notes: James Paxton return update, Zack Britton x-rays negative

Zack Britton
Zack Britton. (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

Just when there was a bit of good news, the Yankees almost suffered another serious injury setback on Wednesday morning. 

Southpaw reliever Zack Britton was struck in the right wrist by a line drive during live batting practice and left the field in obvious discomfort. 

After undergoing further evaluation from the medical staff, x-rays and a CT scan came back negative, the team announced. His right wrist is bruised, however. It is unknown at the moment if he will miss any time during spring training.

Britton will be looked upon once again as a late-innings anchor within the Yankees’ bullpen. In his first full season with the club last year, the 32-year-old posted a 1.91 with 53 strikeouts in 61.1 innings of work. 

His injury scare came just hours after Yankees starter James Paxton provided some good news on his recovery from back surgery. 

The starter — a fellow southpaw — disclosed that he threw the ball Wednesday morning without feeling any pain in his back for the first time since September as he began his throwing program. 

Undergoing the surgery in early February to remove a cyst from his spine, Paxton is hoping to get back on the mound by mid-May. Though that timeline is a best-case scenario, meaning he would have to participate in a slowed-down version of spring training without suffering any setbacks.

Paxton initially started feeling the pain — which radiated down his back and into his legs — during the final weeks of the regular season and postseason before discomfort flared up once again in January.