The New York Yankees announced Tuesday evening that reliever Zack Britton will undergo orthoscopic surgery to remove a bone chip from his left elbow.
Britton will return to New York on Wednesday where the surgery will be performed by Dr. Christopher Ahmad at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in the coming days.
On Sunday, the southpaw and one of the marquee arms of the Yankees’ bullpen began experiencing discomfort in the elbow area of his throwing arm following a bullpen session. An MRI on Monday revealed the presence of the bone chip.
“As much as we always look to April 1, that’s one day,’’ Boone said earlier on Tuesday (h/t NorthJersey.com). “The biggest thing is we want to get this diagnosed properly, treated properly, and get Brit in the best place to be at his best.
“I don’t want to speculate too much on a timeline when I really don’t have an idea right now.’’
The UCL has not been impacted, which rules out something major like Tommy John surgery, which is comforting for a Yankees team that has been bitten by the injury bug plenty of times over the last few seasons.
Preparing for his third full season with the Yankees, Britton has become one of the club’s most reliable late-inning options. Since the start of the 2019 season, the 33-year-old has a 1.90 ERA with a 1.108 WHIP with 69 strikeouts in 80.1 innings pitched.
Britton, nor any of the Yankees’ big relievers such as Aroldis Chapman and Chad Green, have appeared in a spring-training game this exhibition season as Boone made it clear that he is going to take it easy with them.
“Just trying to be a little wise and slow play our higher-leverage relievers as far as game action [this spring],” Boone said last week. “We’re trying to be mindful of all the things we talk about with our starting pitchers with innings and coming off of last season, we want to mindful of that with our relievers as well.
“There’s a good chance we might hold some of those guys back and keep them in controlled environments with live BP’s.”
Both Chapman and Green are expected to appear during the Yankees’ spring-training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, according to Boone. Meanwhile, Britton’s preseason process was delayed after he dealt with COVID-19 back in January.