Yankees: Latest Luis Severino injury update is wildly encouraging

New York Yankees hurler Luis Severino (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
New York Yankees hurler Luis Severino (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Show of hands: who expected to see Luis Severino pitching for the New York Yankees when his allotted rehab time was up?

And who expected to instead continue to get vague and non-specific updates about how “close” he was, well past the point you expected to see him fist-pumping once again?

OK, that’s one, two, three…all of you for the second option, got it.

Well, fret no more! Because Aaron Boone brought a rare dose of good news to the podium on Thursday, proving there’s at least a small chance 2021 is different after all.

Up until this point, everyone involved with the Yankees has preached caution, so as not to create unreasonable expectations for the speed of Severino’s rehab.

And that’s fine! We know the drill. They have plenty of potential depth arms, an October return is most important anyway, and whatever sets Severino up to thrive in a Game 2 or 3 role is fine with us.

That being said, a return to spring training actually got Boonie to spill the beans on Sevy’s progress on Thursday, and it turns out he’s been a lot more active lately than we would’ve thought.

That’s right!

First and foremost, shoutout to Boone himself consenting to catch Severino’s rehab fastballs. Even at less than 100%, that’s still an intimidating prospect.

But…on the mound over the next few weeks? Did we hear that right?

When can Yankees fans expect Luis Severino back?

Up until this point, the timeline we’ve been given has always been a “late summer” return. Presumably, that process involves a few minor-league rehab starts around the All-Star break, followed by an August big-league debut. That would’ve marked around 17-18 months since the surgery took place on Feb. 27, 2020, which (exhales deeply) reminds us how unfortunate it was that Severino wasn’t diagnosed right away, since he’d felt the forearm pain, to some extent, back in October.

If the team had come to the conclusion that surgery was necessary at that point, he might’ve even made it back at or near Opening Day this year.

Now, even the optimistic projections we’re dealing with based on Boone’s catch seem to peg his return in July. Not bad, but could’ve been better.

Let’s focus on the positives today, though. The Yankees are going to try out a bunch of wild cards to account for Severino’s innings the same way they relied on Domingo German to replicate him in 2019.

And we may be seeing the genuine article sooner than we thought.

Spring is here. It’s a time for renewed optimism. So why not try to feel good?