Wang: Mild calf strain won't keep him out
Yankees right-hander expects to make next start Saturday
NEW YORK -- The afterglow of Alex Rodriguez's return on Tuesday lasted only three innings, just time enough for the Yankees to see another superstar, Derek Jeter, go down with an injury.
Less than a day later, they cringed once again, this time enduring the news that Chien-Ming Wang might not be sound.
Wang made a precautionary hospital trip on Wednesday afternoon after a bit of irritation in his right leg became marked with discoloration. An MRI determined that he had a mild strain of his calf, though Wang does not expect to miss a start.
"I'm going to be fine," he said.
Wang first felt a twinge while covering first base in the seventh inning of Sunday's game against the Mets, and he came into Yankee Stadium on the team's Monday off-day for treatment. Though the injury has since discolored, Wang said it has also improved. Before Wednesday night's game against the Orioles, he was no longer feeling pain.
"I'm happy," Wang said. "I'm good."
Still, the discoloration concerned the Yankees enough to send Wang to New York Presbyterian Hospital for tests, where he met with Yankees team physician Dr. Stuart Hershon. The MRI was taken with general manager Brian Cashman's consent.
"You never want to hear this stuff," Cashman said. "I've always said that I try not to worry if my medical staff tells me not to worry. As of right now, I'm managing that way. I'm not going to overly worry, but it's certainly on the radar now, when it really wasn't before."
Wang said he planned to make his regularly scheduled bullpen session on Thursday, and pitch when his turn comes around this Saturday against the Mariners.
The bullpen session, Cashman said, will be key toward determining whether or not Wang can start. Should he complete his normal work load without feeling pain, then the Yankees will ease their concern. If not, then they might err on the side of caution.
"If it's not an issue, then you move forward," Cashman said. "If it is an issue, then you don't."
Manager Joe Girardi raised the possibility that Wang could pitch on Sunday if he's not ready to go on Saturday. He, too, noted that any change in plans will hinge on Wang's bullpen session.
"If he needs an extra day, we can afford on giving him an extra day," Girardi said. "But we don't plan on really skipping him a turn. We're not real concerned about it."
Wang is 6-2 with a 3.51 ERA, losing his past two decisions after winning six straight to open the year.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.