Girardi says Wang won't return to rotation next month

Updated: August 2, 2008, 4:48 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi is shooting down speculation that injured right-handed starter Chien-Ming Wang could return to the mound in September.

Chien-Ming Wang

Wang

Wang, injured running the bases in Houston on June 15, got the cast off his right foot on Tuesday and is expected to be on crutches with a boot protecting his leg for another week before being re-evaluated.

But Girardi said a stretch drive return is out of the question.

"The chances of getting him back on September 1st is zero," Girardi said. "October 1st is possible."

Wang, a 19-game winner each of the past two seasons, was 8-2 with a 4.07 ERA when he got hurt. Girardi said he wouldn't hesitate to throw Wang back into the rotation just as soon as he's ready to go, pennant race or not.

"I would not hesitate," Girardi said. "As long as he's healthy we'll throw him out there."

The Yankees also reinstated reliever Brian Bruney from the 60-day disabled list before their game against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.

Bruney was added to the 40-man roster, and since the Yankees were below the limit, no player had to be removed. Reliever Chris Britton was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.

Manager Joe Girardi said Bruney would be worked back in to the bullpen mix slowly at first. If all goes well, Bruney may join Damaso Marte, Jose Veras and Edwar Ramirez as part of the late-inning mix.

Second baseman Robinson Cano was out of the starting lineup for their game against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday because of a sore left hand.

Cano hurt his hand last Sunday night swinging at a pitch from Boston's Jon Lester, but he remained in the lineup for the next five games. "It was not good the last few days," said Cano, sitting in front of his locker with the hand heavily taped.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.