Yankees hope epidural will help Anthony Rizzo’s back pain – New York Daily News

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ST. PETERSBURG —  The Yankees are hopeful that Anthony Rizzo will be able to get some relief from the nagging back pain that has limited him this season after having an epidural on Thursday. Rizzo stayed behind in California to see renowned orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Robert Watkins, who recommended the shots for the Yankees first baseman.

“So he did have an epidural yesterday in in California. Flew back today. Really optimistic that this is going to do the trick and be what helps him moving forward,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before Friday’s series opener against the Rays at Tropicana Field. “As I was saying, he had an MRI a couple of weeks ago, that I think gave Anthony and us a lot of peace of mind and that that actually came back better than where he was even in spring training. So there’s, I think there’s a lot of optimism that the shots will kind of do the trick as far as getting the pain out there and hopefully when we get ready to start the homestand, he’ll be ready to go.”

Rizzo has missed 10 games because of what he described as back spasms that he had suffered annually over the last few years of his career. During this road trip, the pain became so bad that Rizzo, who did hit home runs on back-to-back nights, had to use a back wrap with infrared heat between innings.

“I think just the pain management and it was something that wore him down,” Boone said. “The back specialist Watkins, out in California is as good as there is, and felt like this is going to work. And I think they feel good about the long term based on the MRIs. But this is something that should give him a lot of relief the rest of the way this season.”

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In the 19 games since Rizzo missed five games with the issue, he is hitting .212/394/.691 with three home runs. Overall this season, Rizzo is hitting .225/.339/.493 with an .832 OPS and 30 home runs.

Dr. Watkins is the back specialist who works with many athletes. Locally, he is known as the doctor who tried to help David Wright at the end of his career get through spinal stenosis.

Jameson Taillon said he expects to make his next scheduled start on Monday. The right-hander said he was able to throw all his pitches on Thursday, a test after he was hit by a line drive in the right forearm on Tuesday.

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“We still need to throw a bullpen but as far as I’m concerned, I should be on schedule,” Taillon said.

Taillon will throw his regular bullpen on Saturday, but throwing on Tuesday he found no issues. After a long history of injuries, he feels like he got lucky.

“Immediately after I was definitely a little worried, but once I got the no-broken bones news, we’re basically given the green light to be aggressive with treating it and getting all the inflammation out of there,” Taillon said. “So yeah, we definitely got lucky.”

Luis Severino’s rehab start was delayed an hour by lightning, but the right-hander got through two innings on Friday night. He pitched two innings, allowed a double and struck out three in a game with low Class-A Tampa.

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Severino is on the 60-day injured list with a “low grade,” strained lat muscle and will be able to come back in the middle of the month.

Matt Carpenter, who first joined the team here at Tropicana Field back in May, wheeled in to rejoin the team for this series. He is still in a walking boot and using a scooter to get around, but Boone said they expect him to get re-evaluated next week.

“He’s sick of his cart. So hopefully, he’s getting ready to ditch that thing. I would say he’s probably going to get X-Rayed again sometime probably on this homestand,” Boone said.



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