Nady's diagnosis: partially torn ligament

Updated: April 21, 2009, 6:26 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Xavier Nady will try to rehab his elbow injury without surgery, giving the New York Yankees right fielder a chance to return this season.

Nady has a partial ligament tear in his right elbow and originally was told that he'd likely need a season-ending operation. But after additional tests and exams, doctors recommended a program of rest and strengthening exercises rather than Tommy John surgery, a procedure Nady had in 2001.

Nady
Nady

"Obviously, I wanted to avoid surgery if possible. You've got to do what's right. I hope going this route ends up working out," he said.

The recommendation came after Dr. Lewis Yocum reviewed tests on Nady's elbow. Yocum, the Los Angeles Angels medical director, performed Tommy John surgery on Nady's elbow in September 2001.

It's unclear when Nady might be able to get back in the lineup. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday he was told Nady could begin swinging a bat in three weeks. He will go through four to six weeks of rehabilitation, general manager Brian Cashman said.

"Obviously, start hitting before throwing. I think it's all on how you feel. So hopefully, it works," Nady said. "I feel all right. I haven't done a whole lot. So hopefully, the next couple days. I already asked if I could swing a bat left-handed. I'm getting bored."

Cashman said the Yankees don't have much experience rehabbing similar injuries for position players, so they're not sure of a timetable for Nady's potential return.

In other news, struggling right-hander Chien-Ming Wang will pitch an extended spring training game in Florida on Thursday with team officials watching.

Wang's turn in the rotation will be skipped this weekend in Boston, and the Yankees want to see how he throws Thursday before deciding whether to plug him back in next Tuesday at Detroit.

"I'd be surprised if it could be that quick," Cashman said, adding that Wang could be sent for medical tests to make sure he's not injured.

Wang missed the final 3 months last season with a foot injury but appeared to be healthy during spring training and says he feels fine.

Wang, who is 0-3 with a 34.50 ERA, is slated to throw about 100 pitches Thursday and the Yankees want to see consistency with his sinker.

"That's his bread and butter. That's his pitch," Girardi said. "We believe that it's important for him to see hitters and to throw 100 pitches.

"It can't be any fun what he's going through. You have to make adjustments in this game and that's what he's trying to do."

Girardi said designated hitter Hideki Matsui was feeling better after having his knee drained last Thursday. Matsui was in the lineup Tuesday night against Oakland, batting seventh.

Nady, who is on the disabled list, felt a sharp pain in his right elbow while making a throw last week at Tampa Bay.

He said Tuesday that he hadn't spoken yet with team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad and he wasn't sure if he would stay with the team during his rehabilitation or go down to the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE