The 2018 Major League Baseball season is officially underway. The New York Yankees are perhaps the most exiting team in the league thanks to their three power hitters: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez. But another young Yankee might be one of the most important assets the team has.
Greg Bird, the 25-year-old lefty first-basemen, has shown flashes of brilliance of the Yankees whenever he’s had a chance. Unfortunately, due to constant foot problems, Bird can’t remain on the field.
Approximately 19% of the U.S. population has an average of 1.4 foot problems each year. Bird, however, though only 25, has had many more foot-related issues.
Recently, only a few days prior to the Yankees opening day game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Bird received a CT scan and an MRI that revealed additional right foot inflammation.
“I’m worried about it, to be honest,” said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. “I’m not sure what we’re dealing with.”
Bone fractures usually heal in two to 10 weeks. According to ESPN, Bird will have to miss between six and eight weeks after he underwent surgery to remove a broken spur on the onside of his foot. The surgery was performed by Dr. Martin O’Malley, a foot and ankle specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. O’Malley performed a similar surgery on Bird last summer, removing a separate problematic bone from his right ankle.
“Obviously, we were hoping that it was going to be a shorter-term thing,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “But we feel like we got some answers, we feel like we know what the surgery’s going to accomplish, and we feel like the six-to-eight week timeline should be workable. And hopefully, this is something that he’ll now put behind him for good.”
Bird fouled a ball off his right ankle last March during a spring training game and it is believed that particular injury set into motion all these additional foot issues. Though he tried to start the 2017 season, the pain shortly became unbearable and had to go on the disabled list in early May.
Bird returned in late August and hit eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 29 games for the Yankees.