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Gerrit Cole to Suffer Luis Severino’s 2020 Shock Injury? Yankees Ace’s Future Uncertain With Opening Day Near

Published 03/14/2024, 2:30 PM EDT

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The New York Yankees’ worst fears may be creeping into reality. Following initial tests that cleared Gerrit Cole of a major elbow injury as the ace is advised to stay off the field for a few months, speculation looms large as the baseball world recalls Luis Severino’s eerily similar 2019–2020 offseason saga.

Despite multiple MRIs coming back negative, Severino eventually required Tommy John surgery after a dye-contrast MRI revealed a partial tear. The parallels are unsettling—could Cole be heading down the same path?

Elbow injuries, particularly those involving the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), are notoriously difficult to diagnose. As Dr. Guillem Gonzalez-Lomas, a sports orthopedic surgeon, explains to The Athletic, “In every test, there’s potential—even if it’s tiny, tiny, tiny—for something to be missed.” Initial MRIs often miss subtle signs of damage, leading to false negatives that can delay treatment and worsen the injury.

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“You really do have to put everything together and sometimes repeat tests in order to arrive at the right verdict,” Gonzalez-Lomas emphasizes. Both Gerrit Cole and Luis Severino are elite athletes with an intimate understanding of their bodies. As the report notes, sources told The Athletic that “Cole was interested in further examination to determine exactly what’s ailing him.” When they expressed discomfort beyond normal recovery struggles, it was a crucial red flag.

Read More: With Ace Gerrit Cole Down, Carlos Rodón Dials Up Vintage 97mph Heat Giving Hope to Yankees Rotation

The doctor also points out, “When you have someone who identifies that they’re not where they should be at this point in spring training, you have to take that seriously, and they have.” Cole’s insistence on further testing highlights how crucial it is for athletes to trust their own instincts, even in the face of seemingly reassuring test results.

Shadows of the Haunting Past Linger Around Gerrit Cole’s Injury Woes

Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone remains deliberately non-committal, only stating, “When we have it all, then I’ll let you guys know.” While this may seem frustrating, the team is likely weighing all possibilities before making an official announcement.

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There’s a broad array of potential elbow issues beyond ligament tears. Dr. Gonzalez-Lomas lists possibilities ranging from tendinitis to joint inflammation. The fact that Gerrit Cole felt something amiss as early as his first spring training outing raises additional concerns.

Severino’s experience underscores the insidious nature of UCL injuries and the limitations of initial MRIs. His journey back from surgery involved a long and demanding recovery process. If Cole faces a similar path, it would be a crushing blow to the Bombers’ hopes for the upcoming season.

Read More: Gerrit Cole Consults Dr. ElAttrache: Meet the Decorated Surgeon to Sports Royalty Like Ohtani, Kobe, Brady

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At this juncture, drawing definitive conclusions about Gerrit Cole’s injury is premature. While anxiety among Yankees fans is understandable, patience is imperative. The decision to send Cole to renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache—who thinks that Cole should undergo “more advanced testing”—indicates the team’s determination to reach an accurate diagnosis.

As both medical professionals and Yankees fans await the results of further testing, with Opening Day’s date of March 28 just weeks away, the unsettling question remains. Will Cole’s injury echo Severino’s unfortunate precedent further into the 2024 season?

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Written by:

Shrabana Sengupta

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Shrabana Sengupta is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports. Shrabana shot to fame when she covered two prime MLB events: the 2023 World Series and the Free Agency that followed. During the 2023 World Series, Shrabana wrote her unfeigned perspectives on the Texas Rangers’ Corey Seager and his wife, the 27x World Series Champions’ heartbreaking season, and later covered Shohei Ohtani’s highly anticipated record-breaking contract in 2023-24.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj