Brett Gardner Suffers Jaw Injury vs. Rays After Colliding with Rickie Weeks Jr.

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 12, 2017

New York Yankees trainers and managers tend to Brett Gardner after Gardner collided with Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Rickie Weeks who was reaching for an errant throw during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

With his team already struggling with injuries to key players, New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner was forced to leave Wednesday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays after a collision at first base with Rickie Weeks Jr.

Per Yankees public relations on Twitter, Gardner suffered a bruised jaw and strained neck in the collision. 

Gardner and Weeks collided in the bottom of the sixth when Rays pitcher Xavier Cedeno's throw crossed up Weeks, with Gardner barreling down the line to try to beat the throw. 

Gardner's power numbers have dropped off over the last two years, but he remained New York's most patient hitter in 2016 with a .351 on-base percentage.

With Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann no longer with the team, that left Chase Headley with the second-highest on-base percentage (.331) among returning regulars who had enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title.

The rise of Gary Sanchez late last season did give the Yankees a budding superstar at catcher, though he's been ruled out for at least four weeks with a biceps strain. Their depth has already been challenged beyond Sanchez with shortstop Didi Gregorius being shut down until May due to a shoulder injury. 

With Gardner out, New York manager Joe Girardi can install Aaron Hicks into left field where his stellar defense will play just fine, even though his inability to hit well continues to prevent him from being an everyday player.     

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