Kevin Youkilis, the man who was supposed to replace Alex Rodriguez at third base, is hopeful to make it back before the season’s end. But do the Yankees already have enough players who are trying to get enough at bats to be effective again?
Youkilis had herniated disc surgery on June 20. He was told by Dr. Robert Watkins, that the quickest return he could expect is twelve weeks. The schedule calls for him to start lifting a bat in the next week or so.
“You hope that you can get everything right,” Youkilis said. “The thing about the back is there’s no timetable. The surgery that’s done on it, it’s different for everybody in different ways. Guys can come back.”
So, Yankees fans who may have had a bad back or back surgery, what are your thoughts on his return? Of course, the Yankees need all of the offense that they can get at this point. But is it worth rushing a guy to get it?
In my view, it is not. A player’s health should always come first. It is not worth taking a chance to leave him with a serious life-long back problem. Remember, Youkilis only signed a one-year deal with the Yankees. So what if something happened that ended his playing career? Is that fair to him?
And the Yankees already have Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez who are trying to get enough at bats to return to peak levels. Plus, Alfonso Soriano is facing pitchers right now that he hasn’t seen often in his career. That’s enough in one lineup.
Besides, although he had a hot period, the overall numbers this season for Youkilis were not great. He hit .219 with two homers and eight RBI. Of, course, the decline in his numbers mostly came after his back pain accelerated.
It is admirable that he wants to return. Fortunately, he is allowing the medical advice to dictate his progress.
“I hope I’d be one of the quickest,” he said. You’ve also got to know what your body is saying and doing. We hope that we can come back and play this year at some point, but you’ve also got to go through the progressions first. That’s what I’m doing, going off their evaluations.”