NEW YORK — All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman has been cleared to return to the New York Yankees following a bout with the coronavirus, but reliever Tommy Kahnle likely needs Tommy John surgery.
Manager Aaron Boone gave the updates on his team’s bullpen Friday, when the Yankees beat Boston 5-1.
Boone said he wasn’t sure when Chapman would be ready for game action. The manager also said an MRI revealed damage to Kahnle’s right ulnar collateral ligament.
Chapman had been isolating in his Manhattan apartment since his positive test July 11. The hard-throwing lefty was waiting to register consecutive negative tests. His symptoms were mild.
“The good thing was he was never really sick, so he was able to maintain probably a level of physical conditioning that other people may not have been able to,” Boone said.
The 32-year-old pitcher constructed a weight room in his living room to stay in shape. He posted videos of his workouts on social media.
Boone said Chapman also purchased a sock-shaped device into which he threw baseballs. The contraption is attached to the forearm and extends past the hand, allowing it to “catch” the ball when it’s thrown.
Boone said the Yankees wanted to evaluate Chapman before deciding on a time frame for his return.
“I’m hopeful he’s a little ahead of the game from where some other people might be,” Boone said.
Boone said Kahnle felt discomfort working out in Baltimore on Tuesday, then shut down a planned throwing session Wednesday. Kahnle had a 3.67 ERA in 72 appearances for New York last season.