Gerrit Cole injury news doesn't warrant an overreaction from Yankees fans

2024 New York Yankees Spring Training
2024 New York Yankees Spring Training / New York Yankees/GettyImages

On Thursday, the New York Yankees finalized everything as they got ready to take on the Astros in Houston on Opening Day. The 26-man roster was set. The first lineup of the year was revealed. And injured list designations were revealed.

The Yankees, unsurprisingly, placed a million players on the injured list, with Gerrit Cole headlining the group, landing on the 60-day IL. The reigning AL Cy Young winner is dealing with elbow inflammation and was expected to miss 1-2 months to kick off the year.

Cole hasn't pitched since March 1 so that led many fans to believe the beginning of May as a realistic timetable for return. But, remember, that would've been the absolute best-case scenario, which never happens for the Yankees.

On March 16, Cole was shut down for 3-4 weeks, which meant he wouldn't be doing any throwing whatsoever until mid-April. After that, he'd ease his way back into his usual program. After that, he'd face live hitters and play in simulated games. After that, he'd go on a lengthy rehab assignment.

And that second half of the recovery process would also probably take around a month, leaving him out until mid-May at the earliest -- again, assuming everything goes perfectly.

Gerrit Cole injury news doesn't warrant an overreaction from Yankees fans

Cole opening the season on the 60-Day IL puts him on track to return on May 27, which surprised some fans, who believed maybe the injury news was worse than the team initially expected. But in reality, this is just a more cautious way of handling the Yankees' most prized pitching possession.

Even if Cole is ready by mid-May, it's not worthwhile in any capacity to get him back on the field as soon as possible. Ensuring he has extensive rest (which will be nearly three months once he's eligible to return) is the best course of action. If Cole has to throw a few extra simulated games or participate in a couple extra rehab assignments, then so be it.

And even so, Yankees reporters have reiterated that this timeline of late May/early June was expected all along.

There might've been some wishful thinking among fans because the Yankees didn't get the worst-case scenario on Cole's elbow earlier in March. But we're still in a holding pattern. There's no telling what the inflammation will look like in a few weeks. There's no guarantee Cole begins throwing again come mid-April.

We'll continue to remain cautiously optimistic, but there's no reason to be bent out of shape with the 60-day IL diagnosis. Unlike Luis Severino, Cole can read a calendar, and he likely understands the reasoning.