Gardner got a PRP injection today. Out 3-4 more weeks. Docs find that elbow injury simply hadn't healed.— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) June 14, 2012
This latest setback follows the one that took place last week when Gardner still felt pain in his elbow after a rehab assignment in Charleston, S.C.
Gardner has been on the shelf since April 18, and this latest timetable for return means the Yanks outfielder will be out until after the All-Star break.
In Gardner's absence, the Bronx Bombers have become even more dependent upon home runs to drive in runs. In fact, New York has yet to win a game this season in which it hasn't hit a long ball, according to MLB.com's Stat of the Day Twitter page.
That tweet was posted on June 4, but has yet to change.
The Yanks' lone speedster has the ability to change all that. He's one of the Bombers' viable options to bunt when runners need to be moved over, not to mention Gardner's ability to steal bases.
Gardner notched 47 and 49 stolen bases in 2010 and 2011. Clearly, when he's on the basepaths, Gardner is always a threat to steal. His ability to do so also helps New York move runners into scoring position.
Defensively, the Yanks have had to rely on Raul Ibanez amongst others to play the outfield. That's not to say they've done a bad job collectively; however, losing Gardner in left field, or anywhere in the outfield, is a huge blow to the team's defense.
Manager Joe Girardi will end up taking his sweet time with Gardner, especially after all the setbacks the player's had. There is no need to rush him back, as the Yanks are playing some of their best baseball of the year.
But make no mistake about it: Gardner is an important piece to what the Yankees aren't doing right now, and that is score runs without the long ball.