Friday started with bad injury news for the New York Yankees. It ended with the same.
An MRI revealed that reliever Dellin Betances has a bone spur causing inflammation in his right shoulder, general manager Brian Cashman said. Structurally, everything else in the shoulder is fine. Surgery will not be needed.
The right-hander received a cortisone shot on Saturday morning and will be shut down for three weeks. Cashman said that will make him at least six to seven weeks away from a big league return.
"I know with this shot that in three weeks with rest, I think -- no, I don't think, I know -- everything's going to be right," Betances said Saturday. "So I'm excited to help this team out to finish the season."
Betances went on the injured list last month with right shoulder inflammation after seeing decreases in his velocity during spring training. Because his fastball normally flirted with the high 90s, the Yankees were concerned that he only topped out at 92 mph in his fourth and final spring training relief appearance.
Since then, Betances has been in a rehab program at the Yankees' facility in Tampa, Florida. He reported not feeling right while pitching in a simulated game earlier this week, leading to Friday's MRI.
Cashman says the Yankees have been aware of the spur since drafting the 6-foot-8 pitcher in 2006, but it hadn't caused him discomfort until this spring.
"The strong belief is that it will resolve, but it's a killer because we're missing him," Cashman told reporters Friday night.
Betances said Yankees head physician Dr. Chris Ahmad has told him that because he's had the bone spur the past 13 years, he should be fine to pitch the remainder of his career and not feel it following the cortisone injection.
"I can't wait to get back," Betances added. "I'm a little impatient, but you just have to believe everything's going to be right, and just take this time to kind of get ready and not rush anything."
The best way to describe what Betances has felt in his shoulder all spring is "stiffness," he said.
"I always come into spring and I feel -- I guess a lot of pitchers probably feel that way -- a little stiff," Betances said. "For me, it usually gets better, and this time it didn't."
The reliever was also a week late in joining the team at spring training this year. His first child was born the weekend before pitchers and catchers reported to Tampa's George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Betances had a 2.70 ERA and struck out 115 over 66 ⅔ innings last season while serving as the primary setup man for Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman.
Injuries have haunted New York this season. Earlier Friday, catcher Gary Sanchez (calf) became the 12th player on the team to land on the injured list. Through their first 13 games, the Yankees are 5-8.
"It's just tough seeing all these guys getting hurt," Betances said. "About half our team is injured right now. Obviously our team is really strong, our depth is strong.
"Things will turn around and once everybody comes back, it's going to be scary."
Starting pitcher CC Sabathia came off the IL on Saturday to make his first start of what will be his final season.
Giancarlo Stanton (left biceps strain) may be the next injured Yankee to return. On the 10th day of his 10-day IL stint, the left fielder reported being "on track" with his recovery. He has taken dry swings and soft toss in the past two days. The next step in his progression is to swing at 100 percent and to take batting practice.
Stanton said he still feels some of the soreness associated with the injury, but that it feels pretty normal. Pain no longer appears to be an issue.
Information from ESPN's Coley Harvey was used in this report.