Even during the All-Star break, the New York Yankees received no respite from their yearlong injury woes.
During a season in which Derek Jeter has played one game — and with Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Kevin Youkilis on the disabled list — the Yankees’ best player, second baseman Robinson Cano, left Tuesday’s All-Star Game before the top of the first was over.
Matt Harvey’s third pitch of the night — a 96-mph fastball — hit Cano on the right leg. Cano lingered near home plate for a moment while an athletic trainer tended to him. Cano took his base but walked off the field immediately after a strikeout by the next hitter, Miguel Cabrera.
Cano, diagnosed with a right quadriceps contusion, said he will need to ice and rest his injury for a few days but “hopefully” won’t miss any Yankees games.
X-rays on Cano’s leg were negative.
“You’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,” Cano said at a hastily arranged (and packed) press conference while the game was going on. “That’s any kid’s dream come true: You’re in front of the home crowd. Second pitch of the game, it’s disappointing. But at the same time, that’s part of the game.”
Dustin Pedroia replaced Cano on the bases and ultimately at second base, leaving the Yankees — and their fans — with an anxious wait to see whether their superstar will be ready to play Friday when the Yankees visit the archrival Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Cano said word of the injury had been relayed to Yankees head athletic trainer Steve Donohue — a ritual that has become all too common for the team this season. At times this year, it’s seemed that Cano has been the Yankees’ only healthy player.
“That never went through my mind,” Cano said Tuesday.
But the same probably can’t be said for many Yankees fans.
Any prolonged absence for Cano would be disastrous for the Yankees’ postseason hopes. They went 10-10 in their final 20 games before the break and currently stand fourth in the American League East. Jeter’s status remains in doubt after he strained his right quadriceps muscle during his lone regular-season appearance with the Yankees this year.
Tuesday night, Jeter’s longtime double-play partner was an even greater concern.