Yankees’ Gerrit Cole likely to miss start of season with right elbow issue: report

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The New York Yankees’ hopes of winning a World Series in 2024 took a huge hit Wednesday as Gerrit Cole is reportedly set to miss the first handful of games of the season.

Cole, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, underwent an MRI on his right elbow earlier in the week after he experienced issues recovering from spring training starts. 

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New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws during the first inning of a spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 1, 2024, in Tampa, Florida. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

While the Yankees haven’t announced whether Cole has suffered a devastating injury that would derail his season, the New York Post reported that surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache expressed enough concern in Cole’s ulnar collateral ligament that it will require him to visit the doctor in Los Angeles. A torn UCL would mean Tommy John surgery and the end of Cole’s season before it even began.

ElAttrache recommended more tests with Cole, according to the New York Post. Cole will reportedly be out an “extended period” of time while the elbow rests.

It’s not exactly what Yankees fans want to hear in what feels like a dire year for New York.

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Gerrit Cole walks awsay

New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole walks to the field before a spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays, March 1, 2024, in Tampa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Cole led the AL with a 2.63 ERA in 33 starts. He pitched in 209 innings and had 222 strikeouts. He was an All-Star for the fifth time in six seasons – sans the pandemic season. He was the Yankees’ best pitcher by a mile as the rest of the rotation had ERAs above 4.00.

On Monday, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Cole reported feeling a higher level of fatigue than usual between spring training starts.

“He described it as his recovery, leading into his next start, has been more akin to what he feels in the season when he’s making 100 pitches,” Boone said. “He usually doesn’t have the recovery issues he’s having. It’s been more of a challenge, more taxing. So we’re going to get an MRI to see what we’re dealing with here.”

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Gerrit Cole and Aaron Boone

New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole is taken out of the Toronto Blue Jays game by manager Aaron Boone, March 1, 2024, in Tampa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Cole is in the fifth year of a nine-year, $324 million contract. He could opt out after the 2024 season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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