Yankees avoid worst-case scenario with Gerrit Cole, but far from out of the woods

The New York Yankees avoided the worst with Gerrit Cole's injury for now, but there's more information to come.

Sep 21, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) reacts after
Sep 21, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) reacts after / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

For a couple of days, New York Yankees fans held their breath as their season was on the line. Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Gerrit Cole was dealing with an elbow injury. With how catastrophic those injuries can be, it felt like his season was in doubt which, in turn, would mean that the Yankees season was in doubt.

Cole had been one of the game's most durable pitchers but he proved to be human by going down with an injury. After days of waiting for any sort of news, Yankees fans finally got something. Cole avoided the worst, but there is still cause for concern.

Yankees avoid worst-case scenario with Gerrit Cole... for now

Jon Heyman of the NY Post reported on Wednesday that Cole will be out for at least 1-2 months with an elbow injury and has an appointment to go to LA for further evaluation. He's not ruled out for the year yet, but there's more work to be done.

"Several Yankees doctors and ElAttrache have viewed Cole’s preliminary film, and while none has detected a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament, there’s enough concern about the ligament that ElAttrache has suggested an in-person visit. Word is that the defending AL Cy Young Award winner will be out for an “extended period,” although for now, the hope and belief is that Cole has a chance to return sometime in May or early June."

The good news is that none of the many doctors who viewed Cole's MRI saw a tear in his UCL. The bad news is there's enough concern for Cole to have to make the cross-country trip out to Los Angeles for an in-person visit.

If Cole is back sometime in May or early June, that's a huge win for New York, but it seems like it's too soon to tell exactly how long Cole will be out. Perhaps after Cole visits with Dr. ElAttrache there will be a clearer timetable.

Yankees fans can breathe a collective sigh of relief for now. Cole has avoided the worst, for now. How he recovers from the injury and what Dr. ElAttrache says when Cole makes the trip to LA will determine how Yankees fans can and should react in the future.

For now, the Yankees will presumably explore external options to fill in for Cole. Even a guy like Michael Lorenzen can be a strong short-term solution if indeed Cole is only out for a month or two of the regular season.