Timetable, Predictions for Mark Teixeira's Return from Injury

Stephen SkinnerContributor IIApril 2, 2013

Teixeira is hoping for a May return to the Bronx.
Teixeira is hoping for a May return to the Bronx.Leon Halip/Getty Images

All signs pointed to a bounce-back season for New York Yankees First Baseman Mark Teixeira until a wrist injury sidelined him prior to the World Baseball Classic. Now speculation as to when he will return to the "Bombers" is wide-ranging.

2012 was a disappointment for "Tex" as he suffered through his least productive campaign in the Bronx. 

In his first three seasons as a Yankee he had averaged 37 HR and 113 RBI. Last year those numbers dropped to 24 and 84 respectively. In addition, he had established himself as a stabilizing force by averaging 157 games played over those three years. Last season he managed to appear in only 123 games while battling leg and wrist injuries.

Teixeira was excited to begin the season by representing his country in the WBC.

That excitement turned to misfortune when, while taking some swings in the batting cage for Team USA, he felt something "pop" in his wrist. Initial reports were that Teixeira would only be out one week to 10 days with a strain.

Those reports soon turned gloomier with news that the injury was more than a strain, and could potentially keep the first baseman out for the season if surgery is required.

As Bleacher Report's Dave Siebert points out, the damage to Teixeira's wrist was similar to that of Toronto Blue Jays star Jose Bautista. 

While Bautista's setback required surgery and ended his season, Teixeira is attempting to avoid the worst-case scenario by wearing a brace with the hopes that the wrist will heal.

The latest news is that he is healing and has been given the OK by doctors to remove the brace (except when exercising),  and he hopes to swing a bat within two weeks.

Siebert writes that there remains uncertainty during the recovery process:

...if he were to develop ECU tendon instability during his recovery, he could follow a course similar to Bautista's.

Could the Yankees actually have a player whose rehab is tracking along the "best-case scenario"? 

The organization will hold its breath and hope that by the end of May the primary run producer since 2009 will back in the heart of the order.

If Opening Day is any indication (an 8-2 loss to the Red Sox), any setbacks in Teixeira's path to the lineup could result in a very long season in the Bronx.