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Michael Pineda's shoulder injury puts career, Yankees rotation in jeopardy

Newark (N.J.) Star Ledger—April 26, 2012

The Yankees waited all spring for the real Michael Pineda to appear.

Now, it’s possible the Yankees will never see that version of Pineda.

The 23-year-old-pitcher will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a labrum tear in his right shoulder. The team announced the news before the Yankees took a 7-3 loss to the Rangers last night.

A year ago in Seattle, with a fastball that topped 94 mph, Pineda blew away the American League in the first half of the season and went to the All-Star Game.  But in his first weeks with the Yankees, the dream played out like a nightmare, culminating in the pain Pineda felt after throwing the 15th pitch of an extended spring training start last Saturday.

There remains the chance that Pineda never comes back. For every example of a pitcher who has bounced back from labrum surgery — manager Joe Girardi brought up a former teammate in Chris Carpenter — there are examples of those who never returned to top form. Those names include Brandon Webb and Ben Sheets.

The Yankees can only wait to see how Pineda bounces back after surgery tentatively scheduled for Tuesday. It will be performed by the Mets medical director, orthopedic surgeon David Altchek, at Hospital for Special Surgery.

This story originally appeared on StarLedger.com.


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