HOUSTON — It looked like nothing. It might not have been a huge deal. But to Miguel Andujar, it was a strong first step.
Hoping to avoid season-ending shoulder surgery, Andujar played catch for the first time since going on the injured list April 1 before a game against the Astros at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday.
“I definitely felt better than I thought I was going to feel,” the third baseman said.
Andujar has what manager Aaron Boone has called a slight tear in his right shoulder labrum. He suffered the injury diving back to first base.
The 2018 American League Rookie of the Year runner-up has been rehabbing the joint rather than immediately hitting the operating table.
He’s one of 11 Yankees on the IL, including ace Luis Severino (right lat strain), star slugger Giancarlo Stanton (left biceps strain) and shortstop Didi Gregorius (Tommy John surgery).
“This is a new experience for me. I’ve never been here before. I’ve been pretty healthy throughout my baseball career. I didn’t know what to expect,” said Andujar, who made 25 throws from 60 feet to infield coordinator Carlos Mendoza.
Said manager Aaron Boone: “I feel like it’s still too early but I think it was significant in his mind. I think he had a little apprehension walking out there, not knowing what to expect. I think he felt a lot better than he expected. That said, he wasn’t really cutting it loose too much. So he’ll play catch again Friday, swing the bat Friday and if all goes well there, we’ll probably move him back to 90 feet on Saturday. It’s a good first step and we’ll start to introduce stuff again.”
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