New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said he’ll need four to five months to recover from surgery to repair his right wrist after rest and rehabilitation failed to heal the injury initially sustained in March.
Teixeira, 33, yesterday said that he’ll have the procedure to fix a torn tendon sheath in the wrist early next week.
“The doctor expects me to be 100 percent in six months,” Teixeira said at a news conference.
Teixeira, a two-time All-Star, missed the first 53 games of the Major League Baseball season because of the wrist and then played 15 games before re-aggravating the injury.
Following a recent exam, four doctors “confirmed that the sheath has not adequately healed,” the Yankees said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.
Teixeira said he has no regrets about returning to the Yankees’ lineup in late May. He said he asked one of his doctors if he now has to worry about wrist injuries for the rest of his career and was told “absolutely not.”
The Yankees have been beset by injuries all season, opening the campaign with nine players on the disabled list. Three of them -- veteran All-Stars Teixeira, shortstop Derek Jeter and outfielder Curtis Granderson -- returned to the team only to have a recurrence of their injuries or new ailments.
Teixeira strained his tendon March 5 while practicing with the U.S. team for the World Baseball Classic. He initially was projected to miss eight to 10 weeks of action.
Teixeira returned to New York’s lineup on May 31, batting .151 with three home runs and 12 runs batted in before aggravating the injury.
“It’s been no secret that I’ve spent more time in the batting cage over the last two seasons than I ever have,” said Teixeira, a switch-hitter. “At some point the overuse just got to me.”
Jeter, who had surgery in October after breaking his left ankle during last year’s playoffs, was cleared to return March 7 and played during spring training before feeling discomfort. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said on April 19 that exams showed “a small crack in the area of his previous injuries” and Jeter’s setback would keep him sidelined until after the mid-July All-Star break.
Granderson, an outfielder who had 43 home runs and drove in 106 runs last year, missed the first 38 games this season after breaking his right forearm when he was hit by a pitch during his first spring training at-bat. He returned for eight games, then broke the knuckle on his left pinkie finger on May 24 when he was hit by a pitch.
Third baseman Alex Rodriguez hasn’t played since last year’s playoffs, after which he had left hip surgery. He’s also not scheduled to return before the All-Star break.
Kevin Youkilis, signed to fill in for Rodriguez at third, had surgery June 20 to repair a herniated disc in his back. The team said his return is possible in late August.
Catcher Francisco Cervelli might be out until mid-July with a fractured right hand, shortstop Eduardo Nunez has a strained left oblique that could sideline him until early July and pitcher Michael Pineda also may return next month from a shoulder injury.
Teixeira, an 11-year major league veteran, is in his fifth season with the Yankees. He was an All-Star in 2005 and 2009, and has won five Gold Gloves for his play at first base, including last season.
The Yankees, who lost 8-5 to the Texas Rangers last night, are 42-35 this season, 3 1/2 games behind the division-leading Boston Red Sox (47-33) in the American League East.
“It’s very tough,” Teixeira said, “especially in a season where the team could probably use me.”