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Aches and Pains

Now that everyone’s been in camp for a week and games are set to start in a couple of days, the aches and pains are piling up. Steven White’s neck strain turned out to be nothing. Brian Bruney experienced a stabbing pain on his left side (or back, depending on the source), but an MRI came back negative and he should be back in action shortly.

More problematically, Humberto Sanchez experienced tightness near his right elbow and stiffness in his right forearm, as well as a throbbing sensation. His MRI revealed some inflammation, but no structural damage. Still, any such discomfort is troubling given Sanchez’s history of elbow problems.

Speaking of injury histories, Carl “Heavy Legs” Pavano was hit on the left instep by an Alberto Gonzalez line drive during batting practice on Saturday. His MRI revealed a bone bruise. Pavano threw 27 pitches in his BP session after getting hit with the comebacker and Joe Torre considers the injury a non-issue. The proof will be in the pitching as Pavano’s scheduled to throw a bullpen session today, then another on Thursday to put him on pace to start the Yankees’ fourth exhibition game on Sunday.

Finally, as Alex has already reported below, Bobby Abreu will miss at least half of the Yankees’ exhibition schedule after having strained his right oblique muscle during batting practice yesterday. Apparently Abreu felt a tweak in his right side, but kept hitting, resulting in a worse injury than if he had cut his BP session short. Abreu will be unable to hit or throw while recuperating, but should be ready for Opening Day, though the pace of healing on oblique injuries is often hard to predict. Still, even this injury should prove to be ultimately insignificant. Rather, it’s Sanchez that bears the closest watching right now.

For those wondering, Cashman and Torre have both ruled out the possibility of Bernie Williams coming to camp given the playing time made available by Abreu’s injury. As well they should, Melky and the Kevins will fill in just fine. Oh, and Johnny Damon took a couple of personal days away from camp. He’s back now. Nothing to see there.

Today the Yankees will play their intrasquad game. Last year this turned into a pivotal event in the season as Jorge Posada creamed a Mike Mussina changeup, then taught Moose how to better disguise the pitch, leading to a 7-1, 2.42 ERA start for Mussina. Today’s intrasquad hurlers are less prominent, with only Kei Igawa appearing from the projected rotation.

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