Greg Bird, who’s been on the disabled list since May 2 with what was originally diagnosed as a bruise in his right ankle, insists he wants to get back on the field as soon as possible.
“I want to play,” Bird said Friday. “I’ve always wanted to play since I can remember. I love baseball. So for me, I’m doing everything I can to get back. That’s pretty much all I know. I love it and I want to be playing with these guys. I would hope people see that, but obviously I’ve just got to take care of what I can take care of.”
Bird was questioned after a Yankees insider raised concerns to the Daily News’ Bill Madden about Bird’s desire to return.
“You really have to wonder what’s with this guy,” the Yankee insider said. “You’d think with (Aaron) Judge and (Gary) Sanchez, the guys he came up through the system with, doing so well up here he’d want to be a part of this. Apparently not.”
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Bird says he hasn’t felt pressure from the organization to get back on the field.
“No, I wouldn’t say so. I think there’s always just pressure to be back on the field from myself because that’s where I want to be,” he said. “So not being out there annoys me for sure. But I’ve got to be healthy and I’ve got to be able to do what I need to do. This has been a weird one, I know, and that’s frustrating — I think mainly for me.”
Joe Girardi said Bird has done everything the Yankees have asked him to do to try to get healthy and productive.
“I think every player wants to come back,” Girardi said. “I think he wants to get back. I just feel that there’s frustration on a lot of our parts — his part, our part, the organization’s part — because he hasn’t been able to get what he considers his ankle right, and it doesn’t feel right and we’re trying to figure out what it is. I know he has another doctor’s appointment on Monday. Hopefully we can get some answers, but I think he wants to come back.”
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Girardi was asked how as a player he’d react to an anonymous source questioning his desire to return from an injury.
“I don’t think I’d be too happy about it, because I think only the player knows,” Girardi said. “I’d be a little bit upset if someone questioned my desire and my integrity.”
Bird said he will see on Monday Dr. Martin O’Malley, a foot and ankle surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery. He said he never felt any improvement after getting a cortisone shot more than two weeks ago. Bird has been shut down two different times while trying to come back. His last rehab assignment ended on June 14 after 12 games. Before he got hurt he hit just .100 in 60 big-league at-bats to begin the season.
“Obviously we hoped the cortisone would help. It didn’t,” Bird said. “Get another opinion and go from there.”
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