MLB

Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks opts for wrist surgery, could miss rest of 2021 season

NEW YORK — The New York Yankees will likely be without starting center fielder Aaron Hicks the remainder of the season. On Friday, manager Aaron Boone announced Hicks will undergo surgery to repair a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist. Hicks had been receiving treatment the last week or so in hopes of avoiding surgery.

“Aaron Hicks is going to go the surgery route now,” Boone said. “… I’m not sure (if he can return this season). I know it’s months, plural. I don’t know how many. I’d rather, let’s get through the surgery and see what they say about a potential timeline and if that puts any point at the end of the season in play or not, probably too early to speculate on that. But it’s going to be a while.”

Hicks, 31, started slowly this season and is hitting .194/.294/.333 with four home runs overall. He had started to head up prior to the wrist injury, however, going 10 for 29 (.345) with home run in his last 10 games. There was no specific play in which Hicks suffered the injury. It is a wear and tear injury that happened over time.

The Yankees will use stalwart Brett Gardner in center field in the meantime. Ryan LaMarre, who was called up to replace Hicks last week, suffered a potentially significant hamstring strain Wednesday, which has led to the Yankees exploring the trade market. They are reportedly in talks with the Rangers about Delino DeShields Jr.

Estevan Florial, New York’s top outfield prospect, is a natural center fielder and he is on the 40-man roster, though Boone downplayed the potential for a call-up. Florial is 3 for 21 (.143) with one home run in five Triple-A games this season. He appeared in one MLB game last season and went 1 for 3 with two strikeouts.

“That’s a balance you’ve got to strike,” Boone said when asked about keeping Florial in Triple-A to continue his develop rather than calling him up. “You never want to bring anyone up here that isn’t at least somewhat ready to take on that challenge, especially when you’re talking about a player with Flo’s potential.”

Our R.J. Anderson listed Florial as a Yankees prospect to know before the season, saying he has “star-level ceiling” but is unlikely to reach it given injury and swing and miss issues.

The Yankees signed Hicks to a seven-year extension worth $70 million in Feb. 2019. He played only 86 of 222 possible games from 2019-20 due to injuries, including Tommy John surgery.



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