I’ll get right to the point, and let Tyler Kepner
ruin your Monday morning relate the bad news:
The Yankees’ season changed irreversibly on Sunday. Chien-Ming Wang’s season is in jeopardy with a serious injury to his right foot, and C. C. Sabathia instantly became a very important name in the Yankees’ universe.
Wang … did not speak to reporters, but he told others that he felt a pop in his foot while rounding third base, a strong sign of ligament damage that could sideline him for months, if not the rest of the season…
The Yankees called the injury a sprained right foot, and they will hope for the best until Wang has a magnetic resonance imaging test in New York on Monday. But the early signs are grim.
The injury is to the top of Wang’s foot, the same general area that reliever Brian Bruney injured when he tripped while covering first base in April. Bruney was found to have a Lisfranc injury and is expected to miss a minimum of three months.
Wang has symptoms of the same injury, including swelling and the inability to bear weight on the foot; he left Minute Maid Park on crutches, in a soft cast. Bruney’s injury was in the middle of the foot, and Wang’s is believed to be in the webbing of his toes, between his big toe and second toe.
Let’s get this part out of the way: This had absolutely nothing to do with Wang’s running, and everything today with seemingly landing on third base the wrong way. Would this have been avoided without Interleague Play as I had originally proposed in my instant analysis? Probably. But we have to remember that this was still a freak accident. Hate Interleague Play as much as you want — as I do right now — but bad luck is bad luck.
Now, if this is another Lisfranc injury, the Yanks are in for a world of pain. The diagnosis on Lisfranc injuries is generally not good. While Brian Bruney will attempt a rehab, surgery is almost always the case, and Wang’s season could very well be over.
Now, before you go jump off the nearest bridge, keep in mind that this is early speculation on the part of the Yankees and Kepner. We won’t know anything until later on today, and at that point, the Yankees will begin to evaluate their options.
Yes, the Yankees need Chien-Ming Wang, but if Joba’s development continues, Andy Pettitte finds some consistency and Mike Mussina continues doing what he’s doing, the Yanks are not as in bad a shape as they could have been. The offense is clicking; the team is beginning to win. Wang’s loss is a blow, but the Yankees can weather this storm.
Later on today — around 12:30 p.m. — we’ll have our look at potential trade replacements. The Yankees also have internal options, including Ian Kennedy, Alan Horne, Dan Giese and Dan McCutchen as well as Phil Hughes a month or two down the road. For now, we just have to keep our chins up and hope for the best. It sounds bleak, and it may be bleak. But we just have to keep on trucking. Wang throws just once every five days, and the Yankees can win without him even if they’d rather be winning with him.
And, hey, perhaps now would be a good time for Carl Pavano to pick up his rehab pace. Imagine that one riding in on a white horse to save the Yankees.