Why Yankees’ Didi Gregorius is optimistic he’ll be back this week

Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius suffered torn cartilage in his right wrist scoring the winning run in Saturday’s game.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As a bunch of Yankees took turns getting in some early batting practice around 2:30 Monday afternoon at Tropicana Field, shortstop Didi Gregorius stood by the cage and watched.

His right wrist was heavily wrapped.

MLB magic numbers, schedules for contenders

This didn’t look good.

Looks can be deceiving.

Turns out this was just an oversized ice bag wrapping a wrist that was far less painful the day after Gregorius was given a cortisone shot on Sunday to address his torn cartridge, which occurred Saturday on an 11th-inning, headfirst slide into home plate that gave the Yankees a walk-off win that clinched a playoff spot.

“I feel way better,” Gregorius said Monday before the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays began a four-game series. “It’s a big improvement from (Sunday) to (Monday). I’m feeling stronger. I’ll get some exercises in and wait to see what’s going to happen.”

While talking at his locker around 4:30 Monday afternoon, Gregorius was holding a gripper in his right hand, which had a light wrap. He made a few quick movements with his wrist with reporters nearby to illustrate how much better he was feeling.

“It’s a big step forward,” Gregorius said. “That’s what I want from now on. I want no setbacks.”

Based on how he was feeling, Gregorius predicted that he’d be back playing before the Yankees’ regular-season ends Sunday in Boston, but he probably won’t know if that’s possible until meeting with a doctor on Wednesday.

“He felt significantly better obviously with some of the range of motion things he’s able to do,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I would also temper it. The true indicator will come Wednesday when he’s re-evaluated and we see how he does and if we’re able to start baseball activities from there, seeing how it takes when he gets a ball and a bat in his hand.

“At least today, another sign of optimism. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.”

Randy Miller may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @RandyJMiller. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

About Felix Pantaleon

NYYNEWS.com was founded in 2005 by Felix Pantaleon. It was one of the first popular MLB blogs to go viral on the internet and made way for future sports bloggers to become successful online.