Yankees' Tommy Kahnle reveals likely injury recovery timeline after Aaron Boone fudged it

New York Yankees Photo Day
New York Yankees Photo Day / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

If there's one thing the New York Yankees have plenty of, it's top-tier bullpen depth.

But if there's one MLB reliever who Yankees fans don't want to see derailed by early-season injury issues, it's human spark plug Tommy Kahnle.

Kahnle, an elite reliever with a disgusting changeup when healthy, hasn't been healthy very often since he succumbed to Tommy John surgery back in 2020. After that season, the Yankees let the Dodgers pay for his recovery on a two-year deal, and Los Angeles didn't get much value out of the proposition; he threw just 12.2 regular-season innings after battling numerous setbacks in 2022.

Last year, it was "right forearm inflammation" that knocked Kahnle out of commission. This season, it appears "biceps tendinitis" will be the early culprit.

According to Kahnle, he's battling a type of tendinitis he's felt before -- specifically, back in 2018, when he tried to pitch through it and the bottom fell out. Kahnle's been shut down for 10 days (this is Day 4), but expects to miss about a month of action, placing him on the 10-Day IL when the season opens (by his estimation).

Yankees RHP Tommy Kahnle out for a month with biceps tendinitis

The temporary loss of Kahnle means that Clarke Schmidt is probably destined for an early-season bullpen role, with Domingo Germán now targeted for the rotation. Or perhaps buzzsaw lefty Matt Krook gets a shot? The Yankees aren't exactly brimming with left-handers in the 'pen.

Keep an eye on Ron Marinaccio, too, who's been a no-show in game action this spring as he recovers from a shin issue that derailed his 2022 season. Will bad news on Marinaccio be the next domino to drop?

It's not terribly frustrating that the bullpen is succumbing to early ramp-up injuries. That's to be expected. It's just brutal that it's Kahnle, who spent two years working his way back from Tommy John, fighting further complications and coming back home, only to come up stiff during his first few days of camp.

It's also frustrating that Aaron Boone, for seemingly the millionth time, gave fans false hope on Sunday when he said he expected Kahnle to be ready for Opening Day. Kahnle himself doesn't expect that! Why'd you say that?

Ideally, Kahnle's able to shake this issue off as easily as he did in 2018, but after several years on the shelf post-surgery, it's difficult not to be more cautious about his recovery timeline this time.

Difficult for everyone but Aaron Boone, apparently.