Cano’s X-rays negative; Girardi says “he’ll be fine”

SARASOTA, Fla. – If there is one concern that would shatter what has largely been an encouraging spring for the Yankees thus far, it would be any sort of lingering injury for Robinson Cano.

The Yankees held their breath on Sunday when Cano was drilled in the left hand by a pitch from the Orioles’ Troy Patton, but X-rays taken were negative after Cano exited the Grapefruit League contest at Ed Smith Stadium.

“The X-rays were negative, so he’ll be fine,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who called the injury a contusion. “You worry about guys getting hit, especially in the hand – it’s so dangerous. … It’s not broken, so it’s sore.”

Girardi said that Cano was hit on the meaty part of his left hand, below the pinky finger. He was batting in the sixth inning against the left-hander Patton when he swung at a pitch that clipped his hand, ruled a strikeout by first base umpire Tim Welke.

Cano doubled over in apparent pain and was immediately seen on the field by head athletic trainer Steve Donohue. Cano made no effort to go to first base, instead led into the third-base dugout.

Cano left the stadium while New York and Baltimore completed the game, with his hand heavily iced, according to Girardi. The manager said that he does not expect Cano to have a lengthy absence from the lineup.

“We’ll see how he is Tuesday, but I don’t imagine it’ll be long,” Girardi said.

Earlier this spring, the Yankees lost infielder Eduardo Nunez for nearly two weeks of Grapefruit League games on a similar hit-by-pitch. Nunez was hit in his right hand in a March 5 exhibition against the Phillies and, despite negative results on an X-ray and CT scan, felt continued discomfort in his hand until returning to action on Saturday against the Astros.

The 29-year-old Cano batted .302 with 28 home runs, 118 RBIs in 159 games for New York last season, setting a career high in RBIs and ranking second in the Major Leagues with 81 extra-base hits.

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