The New York Yankees are being blamed again for mishandling a Yankee player’s injury across much of social media, but this one can’t be hung on the New York Yankee’s training staff. With so many questions arising, I thought it appropriate to republish an article on the truth behind the surgery that I wrote at the time of the surgery.
The New York Yankee’s third baseman Gio Urshela had surgery to remove a bone chip from his throwing arm. I was announced that he would be away from the team for up to three months and would miss part of the 2021 spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field training facility. Many fans wonder why, like James Paxton last year, wait until the last moment to have surgery that will impact the upcoming season.
Urshela was bothered by his throwing arm for much of the pandemic-shortened Yankee season. He was placed on the 10-day injured list with a bone spur in his right elbow on Sept. 4 and was activated on Sept. 15 after missing 11 games. General manager Brian Cashman said on Oct. 14, five days after the playoff-ending loss to Tampa Bay, that Urshela did not need surgery. He said this because the cortisone shot was working.
So why did he wait until now to have the surgery? Urshela recently revealed the real answer to that question. After a few weeks of the postseason, Urshela traveled back to Columbia to be with his family. After only a week or so, he contracted the ugly COVID-19 virus. After getting over it, he had to wait to be tested negative. He then had to be quarantined before he could return to the United States and the Yankees. Before he got the virus, his arm had gone bad again, but being quarantined prevented him from getting the surgery. When he was allowed to travel, he then had the surgery.
“I was feeling good when the season ended,” Urshela explained, crediting a cortisone shot. However, after being in Colombia a couple of weeks, “I started feeling the bone chip, like I had something there.”
Urshela also offered when asked how having the virus affected him; he said that he had it really bad for only three days and then got over it quickly. When he waited to return to the U.S., he found a way to help his fellow Columbians who were too poor to purchase hand sanitizer. After Urshela worked through the worst of COVID, he contacted Negron, whom he has joined in many community endeavors, including the distributing of hand sanitizer in The Bronx this past year. Negron connected Urshela with Zaccagnino, the CEO of H2One Hand Sanitizer, who is in the process of shipping 36,000 bottles each of his products to Colombia and Venezuela, where Urshela’s Yankees teammate Gleyber Torres is similarly aiding his countrymen and women.
For his efforts to help the people of both the Bronx and his native countrymen in Columbia, he will receive the New York Yankees Thurman Munson Award at the annual Munson Dinner, which will be held virtually on Feb. 2 of next year.