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Sanchez's shoulder surgery goes 'as expected'

Yanks' catcher will miss at least 3 months, is in line to be ready for start of season
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Gary Sanchez underwent surgery on his left shoulder at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan on Thursday, and the Yankees' catcher is expected to be ready for Opening Day, Brian Cashman said on Wednesday at the General Managers Meetings in Carlsbad, Calif. 

The procedure to remove debris from the AC joint of Sanchez's non-throwing shoulder was performed by Yankees team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad, and the surgery went "as expected," according to the team. Cashman estimated that Sanchez will need three months for a full recovery.

NEW YORK -- Gary Sanchez underwent surgery on his left shoulder at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan on Thursday, and the Yankees' catcher is expected to be ready for Opening Day, Brian Cashman said on Wednesday at the General Managers Meetings in Carlsbad, Calif. 

The procedure to remove debris from the AC joint of Sanchez's non-throwing shoulder was performed by Yankees team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad, and the surgery went "as expected," according to the team. Cashman estimated that Sanchez will need three months for a full recovery.

"It may very well be something that affected him performance-wise," Cashman said. "I can't rule that out. Now is the time to take care of it."

Sanchez has experienced issues with the shoulder since the end of his 2017 All-Star season, when he received an injection to quell discomfort. Two more injections were administered during Sanchez's disappointing '18 campaign, when he batted .186/.291/.406 with 18 homers and 53 RBIs in 89 games, making 74 starts at catcher.

"It was bothering him from time to time," Cashman said. "When it did, he would complain about it. He'd get assessed. We did MRIs that didn't show anything overtly wrong. That's where some treatment came from, the injections. Obviously it's gone on and lingered a little while longer."

The Yankees planned to continue treating Sanchez's shoulder conservatively, but he reported stiffness while working out with strength and conditioning coach Matt Krause at the team's complex in Tampa, Fla., this week.

"We could continue the conservative treatment and play it out and hope that it would get better, but we're going to go the other route and get ahead of it," Cashman said.

The Yankees' catchers behind Sanchez on the depth chart are Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka. Cashman said that he would be comfortable entering 2019 with that tandem behind the plate, should Sanchez's recovery take longer than expected.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez