CHICAGO — Luis Severino’s return to the majors has been delayed yet again, this time by shoulder tightness.
The right-hander didn’t make his scheduled rehab start Friday night with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after he complained of the discomfort while warming up.
He is scheduled to see doctors and get an MRI exam Monday for further evaluation, but his return this season now appears to be in serious jeopardy.
“It’s very concerning,’’ Aaron Boone said Saturday before the Yankees faced the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. “He seemed close to being back with us and everything had gone really well. For it to be enough to not make his start is concerning.”
Boone declined to speculate further on how long Severino might be out.
“I feel awful for him,’’ Boone said. “I know how hard he’s worked. I feel like he’s in the best shape of his career, body-wise and strength-wise. He’s worked hard to put himself in a good spot. I hope it’s a small bump in the road.”
He hasn’t appeared in a major league game since the 2019 postseason, and there had been hope if Severino pitched well and felt OK coming out of Friday’s outing with SWB, he could finally be the addition to the rotation the Yankees have been waiting for.
Instead, they’ll likely at least get Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery back.
Both have been on the COVID-19 injured list, and after joining the team in Dyersville, Iowa for the “Field of Dreams” game on Thursday, they each threw bullpens in Chicago on Friday’s off day and reported no issues.
“They’re close,’’ Boone said. “They bounced back and are on track for early next week.”
If they don’t suffer a setback, they’ll be on the mound for the Yankees this week, along with Luis Gil, who is scheduled to start one of the two games of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
Corey Kluber is scheduled to make a second rehab start this week, this time with SWB, with a return next month in sight.
And Domingo German is on the IL with right shoulder inflammation, further weakening the rotation. Michael King is also out with a middle finger contusion, and Clarke Schmidt is in the midst of a rehab assignment after being out since spring training with an elbow strain.
The expected boost of Severino back on the mound in The Bronx will have to wait.
The 27-year-old has had a seemingly endless array of injuries and setbacks since signing a four-year, $40 million deal in spring training of 2019.
Severino hasn’t pitched a meaningful game for the Yankees since the 2019 postseason and has tossed just 20 ¹/₃ innings since signing his new deal with the Yankees, sidelined with rotator cuff inflammation, a lat strain, Tommy John surgery and — most recently — a groin strain.
It’s been a steady dose of bad news for Severino, who was an All-Star in 2017 and 2018 before his injury woes began the following season.
He’s under contract for $11.5 million next season, with a $15 million team option in 2023. The Yankees can buy out the final year of the contract for $2.75 million.
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