Yankees manager Joe Girardi talks about the team’s bullpen after the Yankees lose at home to the Brewers on Friday, July 7, 2017.
BOSTON – Greg Bird faces the possibility of right ankle surgery this summer, but there’s at least some hope he can salvage his 2017 season.
After being examined by a specialist last Monday, the lefty-hitting first baseman is believed to be dealing with Os Trigonum Syndrome, related to an accessory bone or excess bone growth behind the ankle.
Earlier this week, Bird was administered Novocaine to the area and reported improvement after taking batting practice with Class A Staten Island, according to general manager Brian Cashman.
Bird will be re-examined on Monday and is expected to receive a cortisone shot designed to get him through the season. If that fails, Bird would likely be headed for surgery to remove the bone growth, with a six-to-eight week recovery time according to Cashman.
“We believe Greg Bird is our first baseman of the present and the future,’’ said Cashman, forced to guard against chance that Bird won’t be a player at all this season.
On Friday, right-handed hitting Garrett Cooper became the eighth different player the Yankees have started at first base this season, making his big-league debut against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
“Hopefully, I can maximize all the opportunities I can get,’’ said Cooper, who might be platooned with lefty-hitting Ji-Man Choi.
“I think you have to give Garrett an opportunity here,’’ said manager Joe Girardi, adding that he’d go with “just kind of a feel.’’
Cooper, 26, was leading the International League with a .366 batting average in 75 games (with 17 homers and 82 RBI) when the Yanks obtained him from Milwaukee on Thursday for lefty reliever…