Masahiro Tanaka Injury: Updates on Yankees Star's Arm and Return

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Masahiro Tanaka Injury: Updates on Yankees Star's Arm and Return
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Updates from Friday, July 18

Andrew Marchand of ESPN provides comments from Masahiro Tanaka, who is unsure whether or not he will return to the mound this season:

At this point, I'm just going with what the doctors are telling me," Tanaka said. "Their decision was not to go with surgery so that's pretty much it."

On Monday, Tanaka had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his pitching elbow. He is now resting until the elbow does not hurt at all.

"When he is symptom-free, he will start a throwing program," general manager Brian Cashman said.

Tanaka said once he starts to throw, it will be realistic to map out a return. The initial diagnosis called for six weeks of healing time. That was a little more than a week ago.

Updates from Saturday, July 12

Brendan Kuty of NJ.com reports Masahiro Tanaka will not be in attendance at the All-Star Game:

Masahiro Tanaka could attend Tuesday's All-Star Game, but he's not.

Instead, the 25-year-old will focus on treating his ailing right elbow, manager Joe Girardi said.

"It's really unfortunate," Girardi said of Tanaka's injury. "He had a great first half. He's unable to be part of it but, for some reason, I think he's going to get to go to another one."

Updates from Friday, July 11

Sporting News' Jesse Spector has Tanaka's statement on his injury:

Updates from Thursday, July 10

NJ.com's Brendan Kuty, Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, and MLB.com's Bryan Hoch have a verdict on Tanaka:

Kuty and Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News had more from Brian Cashman:

Feinsand relayed an update on Tanaka's injury from manager Joe Girardi:

Will Carroll of Bleacher Report reported on the next steps in Tanaka's diagnosis:

Hoch stated that Tanaka would be meeting with specialist Dr. Christopher Ahmad:

Original Text

Coming off his two worst outings of the season against Minnesota and Cleveland, New York Yankees rookie Masahiro Tanaka is feeling the sting of pitching every fifth day in Major League Baseball. 

The starting pitcher was placed on the disabled list with elbow inflammation, via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com:

This was after the original report from George A. King III of the New York Post that Tanaka was going back to New York following his Tuesday start to have an MRI on his pitching arm:

Bleacher Report's Will Carroll has more details on the nature of Tanaka's injury:

Dan Barbarisi of The Wall Street Journal reported more specifics:

MLB PR reveals Tanaka's replacement in the All-Star Game:

Tanaka provided Bryan Hoch of MLB.com with a vague, cryptic response about his struggles against the Indians, which saw him give up a career-high 10 hits and five runs. "I do understand the reason why I was struggling today, but it’s really difficult for me to tell you why that was," he said.

Given all the injuries to New York's pitching staff this year—Joe Girardi has told Chad Jennings of LoHud.com that it's "fair to say" CC Sabathia is out for the rest of the season, Michael Pineda remains an enigma and Ivan Nova had Tommy John surgery—losing Tanaka for any amount of time is the last thing they can afford. 

As Joel Sherman of the New York Post noted, Tanaka has been the only stable presence giving the Yankees quality innings this season. 

The Yankees spent nearly $500 million last winter on Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran to compete for a playoff spot, yet injuries and poor performances have left the team hovering around .500 all season and fighting to stay in the wild-card race. 

Now, with news about Tanaka, panic will likely set in over New York. The Yankees are fortunate that no one else in the American League East has pulled away, with Tampa Bay and Boston bringing up the rear, but they can only tread water so long before the boat breaks. 

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