Yankees’ Greg Bird has surgery, declares ‘my season is not over’
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird, who underwent ankle surgery Tuesday morning in New York, is determined to make something of his 2017 season yet.
His plans are to rejoin the team in September, help the Yankees get into the playoffs, and then contribute in the postseason.
Following his procedure in Manhattan, Bird issued a statement through agent Jim Murray.
“This morning I underwent a successful procedure to remove the os trigonum from my right ankle. After trying to play through the injury, I recently sought the opinion of Dr. Martin O’Malley at Hospital for Special Surgery, who provided an accurate diagnosis and performed the required surgery.
“In nearly four months since first injuring my ankle, it had been increasingly frustrating to have only questions and no answers. All this time, I have wanted nothing more than to be out there playing the game I love as a member of the New York Yankees.
“My season is not over. I plan to do everything in my power to return and help our team win in 2017.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi wants the same thing, but he’s not confident that Bird can make it back this season because his six-weeks recovery time from surgery won’t allow him to resume baseball activities until around Sept. 1. By then, it’ll be like starting spring training for Bird, who hasn’t played in a Major League game since May 1 or any game since June 14.
“Is there a chance (Bird can play this season)?” Girardi said Monday. “Yeah, maybe.”
Bird, 24, has missed most of the last two seasons, as he sat out all of 2016 recovering from February 2016 right shoulder labrum surgery.
The Yankees love Bird’s left-handed power, which was on display late in the final two months of 2015 when he hit .261 with 11 homers and 31 RBIs over 46 games as a rookie.
Bird had a great spring this year, but fouled a pitch off his ankle in a late March Grapefruit League game and he hasn’t been the same since. He played through the injury for the first month of the regular season, but was placed on the disabled list after hitting .100 with one homer and three RBIs over 60 at-bats in 19 games.
After a month of resting and rehabbing, Bird played 12 minor-league rehab games from June 1-14 — he hit .237 with no homers and four RBIs for High-A Tampa and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre — then was shut down again with more ankle pain.
The os trigonum is an extra bone that can develop behind the ankle bone.
And now more than a month later, Bird has undergone surgery that could push his return back until 2017 and likely will force Yankees management to reassess whether or not they can count on him to be their starter next season.
“It’s really tough to get on track when you’ve lost two years,” Girardi said. “Hopefully he can get back on track before the end of the season and get some at-bats and be helpful and productive. That’s something we’re going to have to wait and see.”