Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner had another setback in his slow recovery from a strained right elbow.
New York manager Joe Girardi said Gardner felt pain when he woke up Saturday, a day after playing five innings in a rehab game with Class-A Charleston. The speedy outfielder will be examined by Dr. James Andrews on Monday or Tuesday and then later in the week by Dr. Timothy Kremchek, the Cincinnati Reds’ medical director.
Sidelined since April 18 with an injury to his non-throwing arm, Gardner has cut short two minor league rehab assignments because of discomfort. After the latest setback, Girardi acknowledged he doesn’t expect Gardner back until after the All-Star break.
”There’s concern we’re not going to have him for a while,” Girardi said. ”Obviously, it’s a setback. I’m not sure when we’ll see him.”
General manager Brian Cashman said both Gardner and the Yankees are frustrated by the lingering injury. Cashman said the strain was supposed to heal with rest, so Gardner will visit Andrews and Kremchek to try to figure out what the problem is.
In the meantime, designated hitter Raul Ibanez will continue to fill in.
In other news, All-Star reliever David Robertson headed out on a rehab assignment and is scheduled to pitch Sunday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Robertson has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 14 with a strained left oblique.
Hiroki Kuroda expects to make his next start after he was hit on the left foot by Daniel Murphy’s line drive Friday night, though Girardi said the Yankees probably will have to wait a couple of days to know for sure.
Kuroda gave up only one hit in seven scoreless innings against the Mets before leaving with a bruised foot. He hopped out of the clubhouse on crutches Friday night but was walking around Saturday and Cashman said he was encouraged.
Cashman also said it’s possible reliever Joba Chamberlain will return this season. Chamberlain threw off a mound Friday in Florida for the first time since hurting his ankle jumping on a trampoline with his son in March and said he’s sure he will be back in 2012. The right-hander is also coming off elbow ligament replacement surgery.
Cashman called Chamberlain ”Superman” for his ability to heal quickly and said the pitcher apparently doesn’t feel pain.