Frankie Montas surgery recovery timetable revealed and it's not awful for Yankees

New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays
New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

Don't cross your fingers too hard, Yankees fans, but it seems actually possible that 2022 trade deadline dud Frankie Montas will be able to return this season in the wake of his February shoulder surgery that maybe, kind of, sort of should have happened in November.

Then again ... do you folks really want to see him? In that case, this news is bad. It's bad news, then.

When Aaron Boone announced last week that Montas needed a surgical cleanup on his shoulder, the prevailing wisdom was that if it went according to plan, there was a chance the starter could return late in the season. If there was more damage than met the eye, he was done in the Bronx and would've wrapped his Yankees career with eight primo starts.

But what did it really mean that there was a chance for Montas' return? Tossing an icy cold Montas into September baseball didn't really seem like a win, considering the Yankees probably (hopefully!) would've come up with a more permanent fifth starter solution by then. If the two options were "shut down for the season" or "debut him Sept. 18," neither seemed particularly appealing.

Per the team on Wednesday, there's now a third possibility. Montas' surgical procedure went according to plan, and he can theoretically begin a throwing program in 12 weeks. If he's tossing by the end of May, he could build up for August if everything goes perfectly.

Raise your hand if you believe everything will go perfectly.

Yankees right-hander Frankie Montas' injury recovery timeline: 12 weeks

Now, you know and I know and Cashman might know but probably doesn't know that Montas won't be throwing in 12 weeks, but it's fun to pretend, right? In Pretend, I can be a spaceman.

Still, in the cold light of late February, it's momentarily refreshing to think of this acquisition as something other than a total wash. There's at least a possibility of Montas working his way into form in August as the rest of the Yankees rotation takes a breather the way they did in 2022, when both Luis Severino and Nestor Cortes were placed on the IL against their will. That could make him a surprise October factor if he's able to regain control of his bowling-ball sinker ahead of the deadline.

Of course, there's also Montas' less-than-sterling career road ERA, about a run higher than his home mark in Oakland. But that's a concern for an eventual world where the right-hander actually returns to the mound. For now, Montas will be a dangling carrot just past Cashman's trade deadline.

He might even be (shudder) just as good as any trade after the Yankees' GM strikes out again this summer.