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Yankees shut down Betances for 3 weeks

Cortisone injection to add time to recovery from shoulder impingement
@BryanHoch
April 13, 2019

NEW YORK -- Dellin Betances will be absent from the Yankees' bullpen for at least another six weeks, but considering the team's ongoing injury woes, general manager Brian Cashman's announcement almost sounded like good news -- or, at least, it was not the worst-case scenario. While the Yankees waited out

NEW YORK -- Dellin Betances will be absent from the Yankees' bullpen for at least another six weeks, but considering the team's ongoing injury woes, general manager Brian Cashman's announcement almost sounded like good news -- or, at least, it was not the worst-case scenario.

While the Yankees waited out a delay that would result in their eventual 9-6, rain-shortened loss to the White Sox on Friday evening, Cashman said that Betances has been scheduled for a cortisone injection on Saturday, which will be targeted to a bone spur behind the hurler's right shoulder.

According to Cashman, team physician Chris Ahmad has expressed optimism that the treatment will resolve the ongoing issue.

"The only problem with that is it adds more time on the clock,” Cashman said. “He will be down three more weeks, no activity, then we get him going again. Another six to seven weeks until you see him back with the big club after you have rest, rehab, game action and return to play. Good news vs. bad news, it could have been much worse news."

Cashman said that the bone spur was a pre-existing condition that the Yankees knew about when they signed the right-hander in 2006, but it had never been a concern because it was asymptomatic. A dye contrast MRI taken on Friday pinpointed the spur as the source of Betances' ongoing discomfort.

A look at the Yankees' injury timetables

“He hasn’t had to deal with this and it’s had no effect on his game or pitching in any way, shape or form,” Cashman said. “This spring was the first time that he’s had this shoulder inflammation.”

After being granted a late report to Spring Training due to the birth of a child, Betances experienced diminished velocity in four Grapefruit League appearances, then was diagnosed with a right shoulder impingement on March 19.

Cashman said that was treated with an oral anti-inflammatory, which yielded promising results. At the time, there was reason to believe that Betances would re-join the Yankees' bullpen at some point in April, but he experienced discomfort after pitching in a simulated game on Thursday in Tampa, Fla.

"Dellin is a great pitcher, one of the elite relievers in the league," manager Aaron Boone said. "There's no question that's a blow. He's important to what we do. In the meantime, we've got to make sure we're working really hard to get a couple of guys that have really strong track records on track. We still have guys that are capable of getting it done at a high level down there."

Cashman called Saturday's scheduled procedure "phase two," and said that he did not know what the next step would be if it did not work as expected.

"I can’t speak to a worst-case scenario," Cashman said. "I don’t believe there is an option for that. The strong belief is it will resolve. Obviously, it’s a killer for a period of time, because we’re missing him and he’s an important part of our team."

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