- Andrew Marchand, ESPN Senior Writer
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Speaking for the first time since taking his nearly four-week leave of absence, Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland said he is back for good with the team after handling "a personal family matter."
"It was really hard," Eiland said during a press conference, which he began by saying he wouldn't disclose the personal issue. "These are my guys. This is my second family."
When Eiland left, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he would receive as much time as he needed.
"I knew I would be back," Eiland said. "The team knew I would be back. It was just a matter of when."
Eiland's leave has coincided with A.J. Burnett's struggles. In Eiland's absence bullpen coach Mike Harkey has acted as the pitching coach. Eiland said he watched Burnett's last two starts and he has noticed some issues that he believes can be corrected.
"It is up to the individual player to make adjustments," Eiland said. "A.J. is going to bounce back."
GM Brian Cashman agreed, saying, "Ultimately, the job fixing things on the run and self-correcting resides with the pitcher himself. So A.J. will get right."
Burnett was not with the team on Tuesday, because he was mourning the passing of his grandfather.
Girardi said he was happy to see Eiland on a personal level, as well as a professional one.
"It is great to see him," Girardi said. "Obviously, when anyone leaves from the family we have here, it is difficult."