PP Injury Update

We all know that the Yankees' success this season hinges largely on one specific element: health. From Kevin Brown's back to Jon Lieber's groin and arm to Jason Giambi's knees, the Yankees are going to live and die by how many trips to the trainer's room they take. With that, we take a look at how some Yankees are doing health-wise.

Jason Giambi - Right Knee
Giambi had arthroscopic surgery on his knee during the offseason to correct the problems he was having last season, but it appears that playing on the artifical turf in Japan has caused the problem to become mildly aggravated. Giambi, who homered in Tuesday's opener against the Devil Rays, was relegated to DH duties for game two. Tony Clark played first in his place and hit a two-run homer.
The Skinny: Expect this to be an ongoing problem for the big first baseman. Giambi lost some weight over the offseason to help his knees out, but we think that Travis Lee and Clark will see plenty of time at first base over the course of the season. The only question, then, is if Giambi can hit well enough as a DH - something he has had trouble with over the years.

Paul Quantrill - Right Knee
Quantrill bruised his knee while attempting to field a bunt in game one against Tampa. He moved off the mound toward the third-base line and bumped into 3B Alex Rodriguez. Quantrill was taken out the game and wasn't available for game two.
The Skinny: Quantrill was a model of health last season, leading all relievers in appearances. This is just a bruise, and he isn't expected to miss anymore time.

Bernie Williams - Emergency Appendectomy
Bernie is still expected to start the season on the Disabled List, but he won't stay there long. He had an emergency appendectomy earlier in the Spring, and didn't accompany the team to Japan. He has been participating in minor league games to get some work in and got three hits off of Roy Halladay in a game on Wednesday.
The Skinny: Bernie will likely be back April 6th for the Yankees' game against the Devil Rays. If not, he'll be back on the 8th for the home opener against Chicago. Chances are he will DH for a while as he regains his strength.

Jon Lieber - Groin
Lieber's groin injury has landed him on the DL and he'll be out until at least May. Lieber was expected to be the fifth starter for the Yankees.
The Skinny: Donovan Osborne or Jorge DePaula will start in Lieber's absence. Since there are so many off-days in April, a fifth starter will only be needed two or so times. Hopefully, Lieber will come back at full strength, but groin injuries have a way of lingering. Just ask Roy Oswalt last season.

Travis Lee - Shoulder
Lee, the last major player the Yankees signed this offseason, will start the season on the DL with an inflamed left shoulder.
The Skinny: Lee is expected to miss only two to three weeks with the injury. He should be back by mid-April and will likely see time at DH and first base.

Orlando Hernandez - Shoulder
The Skinny:
El Duque will probably be out until June and will need to make rehab starts in the minors before he can return to the majors. His position with the team will probably be re-evaluated at that point.

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