Yankees Lose Greg Bird to a Season-Ending Injury

By Cheri Cheng - 02 Feb '16 13:52PM

Baseball season has not even started yet and the New York Yankees already have a major problem on their hands: first baseman Greg Bird is out for the entire season.

The Yankees announced that Bird, 23, will be undergoing shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum. The surgery, which will be performed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, NY, will sideline the rookie until 2017.

Bird's right shoulder injury has been a problem for him since last May when he was initially diagnosed with the tear. The injury, however, did not stop Bird from making his way into the majors. He was called up in mid-August to fill in for Mark Teixeira.

Bird batted .261 with 31 RBI and 11 homeruns in 46 regular season games.

Bird did not mention anything about his shoulder hurting until one week after his end-of-season physical. At the time, the team physicians, Chris Ahmad and Dr. Altchek, recommended a rehab-training program to strengthen his shoulder instead of surgery. The shoulder, however, was not getting any better.

"The doctors were in agreement throughout the process. It's just an unfortunate situation," general manager Brian Cashman said. "The operating surgeon is optimistic that after surgery, the player will be ready and available for the 2017 season."

The Yankees noted that even if Bird were to be healthy enough to play, he would have still started behind Teixeira. Now, due to the injury, the Yankees will have Dustin Ackley as the backup first baseman.

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