Brett Gardner Injury Update: New York Yankees Outfielder Close to Return

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IJune 7, 2012

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 04: Outfielder Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees bats against the New York Mets in a spring training game April 4, 2012  at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner has been sidelined since April 17th, but he appears ready to return to the Yanks' lineup, according to Chad Jennings of the Journal News.

Gardner took BP today. He did not play in a rehab game after experiencing soreness yesterday. He will play a rehab game in Charleston tomm.

— Lohud Yankees Blog (@LoHudYankees) June 7, 2012

Gardner has been out ever since he suffered a strained right elbow a few months back. After a long time on the shelf and what seems like countless setbacks, the Yanks' outfielder could make his return next week after the New York Mets come to town.

According to D.J. Short of, the Bombers hoped to get Gardner back in time to play the Amazin's this weekend, but soreness in his elbow on Wednesday halted that, as mentioned by Jennings from his Twitter account.

The speedster's return couldn't come any sooner for New York. Gardner's defense is a huge plus when he is in the lineup and makes the Yanks' outfield supremely better when he is on the field.

Also, the Bombers don't have to live by the home run as much when Gardner is healthy.

He is one of the few options the Yanks have to help manufacture runs and adds a valuable element of speed that manager Joe Girardi doesn't have at his disposal otherwise.

Gardner also helps New York's lineup turn over much better when he hits ninth and is followed by Derek Jeter at the top of the order.

If these past two months haven't helped the Yankees build an appreciation for what Gardner does, then quite frankly I don't know what will.