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BASEBALL – Yankees: Johnson and Giambi Likely to Undergo Surgery – October 10, 2006
The Yankees have had an agitated week. After owner George Steinbrenner decided to bring manager Joe Torre back for 2007 and general manager Brian Cashman declared that the Yankees won't trade Alex Rodriguez, the latter announced that two his players will be out to undergo surgery. Cashman announced that Randy Johnson likely will need surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back and Jason Giambi probably will have an operation to fix a torn tendon in his left wrist.
Besides backup first baseman Andy Phillips is already scheduled to have knee surgery to repair torn cartilage. The Yankees have also to meet with Carl Pavano and the players' association over his failure to initially disclose an August car crash that resulted in broken ribs. Before the team can discipline Pavano, the team must hold the meeting. Pavano has not pitched since June 2005 because of a string of injuries, In addition, Pavano and the Yankees will work on a new conditioning program for the pitcher, who has had shoulder, elbow, back and buttocks injuries.
Johnson pitched in the playoffs while he has been diagnosed with the herniated disc. He will be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles. It is still uncertain if he will require surgery. If he has surgery, the 43-year-old left-hander might not be ready for the start of spring training in mid-February. Watkins already operated on Johnson's back on in 1996. But the player made his first start the following year on April 5.
The other concern about players is Gambi. The latter has been hampered by the wrist in the final months of the season and had at least three injections. He will have be examined by a hand specialist who will decide if surgery is required.
In addition to injured players the Yankees, heading into the off-season, must decide whether to exercise options many players such as pitcher Mike Mussina ($17 million or a $1.5 million buyout), outfielder Gary Sheffield ($13 million) and pitcher Jaret Wright ($7 million or a $4 million buyout). The Yankees have until Nov. 5 to decide on Sheffield, Nov. 12 on Wright and Nov. 15 on Mussina.