Going into the 2014 season, the Yankees are expecting Mark Teixeira to play approximately 140 games as he comes back from wrist surgery. However, Teixeira might still feel the lingering effects of his wrist surgery until “June or the entire season”.
“Any athlete that says, after a major surgery, that they have no problems, they’ve never felt anything, they’re 100%, and they’re going to be as good as ever—yeah, you can say that, but in the back of your mind, you’re always thinking, OK, I still have to do it,” Teixeira said to the Wall Street Journal. Teixeira was limited to just 15 games in 2013, following an injury while training for the World Baseball Classic.
Until Teixeira is back on the field and winning games, he’s unsure if his wrist will allow him to be the same hitter he once was.
“I can be as positive as I can, but until I hit a 95 mph fastball that’s inside, into the second deck, then I’ll go, ‘All right, I’m back,'” he said. “But you can’t do that in a batting cage. Only time will tell.”
Teixeira explained he teared his ECU tendon sheath in his right wrist and opted to sit out until June, with hope he wouldn’t need surgery for it to heal. Unfortunately, Teixeira realized he couldn’t hold off much longer and repaired it surgically, ending his 2013 season.
An injury dealing with an ECU tendon sheath is nothing to joke about; David Ortiz nearly retired after tearing his ECU tendon sheath in 2008 and performing with sub-par numbers in 2009. Jose Bautista is another example; he tore his ECU tendon sheath in 2012 and tried to rest it, similar to Teixeira’s case. After having surgery, Bautista was zapped of his power, hitting 28 homers in 2013; he hit 97 home runs from the year 2010 to 2011.
Teixeira’s doctors informed him his wrist will feel tight, but it should get better with every therapy session he has and every swing he takes. But Teixeira promised the injury wasn’t going to affect his performance and his rehabilitation process is manageable, even if his wrist isn’t feeling 100%
With the Yankees not having a backup plan for Teixeira going into Spring Training, it looks as if they might have to take Tex’s word on it and believe he’ll be a gigantic contributor in 2014.