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Yankees manager Aaron Boone left the door open for Aaron Hicks to potentially return this season after undergoing wrist surgery, but a medical expert is throwing cold water on that idea.
Hicks flew to Arizona on Saturday for an upcoming surgery to repair a torn sheath in his left wrist, and though Boone said the recovery would take “months,” it appears unlikely that the center fielder will be able to return this season.
“It’s not gonna happen. It can’t happen,” Dr. Samir Sodha, a hand specialist with Rothman Orthopedics, said in a phone interview. “For his safety and his overall prognosis, it takes a long time. … These guys are such high-level athletes and to have that lead hand in a bat injured [when Hicks hits right-handed] — that’s the initial point of contact, where that tendon strengthens the wrist— that’s a big deal.
“In a normal person, it takes four months to get better from this. For him, hitting a bat with that kind of velocity, that kind of athleticism, sometimes it can take six months to a year.”
Boone said the wrist injury, which the Yankees first tried to treat with anti-inflammatories before opting for surgery, wasn’t allowing Hicks to swing the bat the way he needed.
If Hicks were to rush back from the surgery, it could risk inflammation in his tendon, according to Sodha, which could be even harder to deal with because it could become chronic.
The recovery typically includes having the wrist immobilized in a cast or brace for 4-6 weeks after surgery, which makes for an even longer road back.
“An athlete like him, if you mobilize your wrist for that long, one they lose some muscle mass and they lose strength, they get atrophy, and they get stiffness,” Sodha said. “So the rehab is significant after that.”
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