Yankees have Cubs to thank for finding answers to Anthony Rizzo’s scary injury

While the Yankees medical staff gave Anthony Rizzo clearance to play, it was Cubs manager David Ross who convinced Anthony Rizzo to get a second opinion on his concussion.
League Championship Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs - Game Four
League Championship Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs - Game Four / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages

Anthony Rizzo's absence due to a concussion was well documented earlier this season. Rizzo was involved in a collision with Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr., and hasn't played the same since. With the Yankees seemingly out of contention, Rizzo went on the injured list...months after the fact.

What took so long? Well, we can't speak for the Yanks medical staff, but it wasn't a great look. As it turns out, Rizzo's former manager David Ross had a say in his eventual second opinion, which led to an IL stint.

“Ross during his playing career dealt with several concussion issues. We all know Rossy and Rizz are good friends. When the Cubs were in New York to play the Mets, Ross and Rizzo had a conversation, and it’s because of Ross Anthony realized ‘I’m not feeling like myself because I have a brain injury,’” Zach Zaidman of 670 The Score reported. “After having that conversation with Ross, Rizzo got in touch with Rossy’s doctor, and it turns out the concussion issues were real, and they shut him down.”

MLB Rumors: Cubs manager David Ross played role in Anthony Rizzo's second opinion, Yankees IL stint

While the Yankees medical staff evidently did not think Rizzo needed an IL stint in May, a second opinion from an outside doctor gave him the necessary clarity to take time for himself.

Rizzo is under contract through next season, and has a club option for 2025. He's a Yankee long term, and is a critical part of their clubhouse. For all of Brian Cashman's faults, signing Rizzo has been one of his best moves of late. Yanks Go Yard's Thomas Carannante outlined how mishandling Rizzo's injury may have cost the Yankees a postseason berth:

"It's probably for the best we don't have to watch this team in the playoffs this year because of how truly inferior they are compared to legitimate contenders at this very moment, but we must focus on theprinciple of this organization constantly shooting itself in the foot, not addressing the wound, and then developing a flesh-eating disease that takes mere days to consume the brain."

Letting Rizzo play despite some sketchy symptoms is not a good look for the Yankees. Thankfully, Rizzo has a friend he can rely on in Ross.

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