Now, even the best-case scenario is unlikely to get Aaron Hicks back in time to help the Yankees in the postseason.
Off a second opinion with Dr. Neal ElAttrache in California, Hicks received a recommendation to take a few more weeks of rest before a further evaluation, The Post has learned.
It means that Tommy John surgery was not recommended immediately. But it also does not mean that it won’t ultimately be needed if improvement is not found with further rest.
But the few weeks of rest takes the Yankees to the end of the regular season, at minimum. So even if Hicks does not need surgery, the clock would almost certainly prevent the center fielder from returning in October.
After signing a seven-year, $70 million extension, Hicks has played in just 59 games this year. He has been out since early August with what the Yankees have termed a flexor strain in his right elbow. If he were to need Tommy John surgery, he would be the second prominent Yankees position player to undergo the procedure in the last two years, following Didi Gregorius.
In the short term, Hicks’ absence complicates the Yankees outfield picture. Not long ago, they looked as if they might have to decide from too many options. But a season-ending calf injury to Mike Tauchman combined with the absence of Hicks leaves Brett Gardner as the only trusted center fielder on the roster. In addition, the Yankees are still waiting to see if Giancarlo Stanton comes through his intensified rehab in time to get enough regular season at-bats to be ready for the playoffs.