Brett Gardner

New York Yankees’ Brett Gardner prepares to bat during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif.

By  Ryan Hatch

TAMPA — Outfielder Brett Gardner will start spring training slowly this year while he recovers from a bone bruise to his left wrist suffered last October in theYankees‘ Wild Card game.

Gardner, who throws left-handed, apparently injured the wrist when jumping for a ball against the outfield wall in the top of the second inning while playing center against the Houston Astros (video below).

General manager Brian Cashman said Gardner reached out in the weeks after the Wild Card game and said that his wrist was bothering him. A CT scan showed a bone bruise.

Cashman said Thursday at Yankees camp that Gardner took only dry swings this winter, meaning he hasn’t hit live pitching in the batting cages.

“We’re just going to stagger him out (this spring),” Cashman said.

See video of the play here:

Gardner, 32, suffered a hurt right wrist earlier last season that coaches said may have contributed to his decline at the plate; in the second half last season Gardner hit just .206. That wrist, though, doesn’t appear to still be an issue.

Cashman said it’s not unusual for a bone bruise to take this long—four and a half months—to heal.

“A lot of times the time frame for bone bruises, on diagnostic testing, to completely dissipate, you could be waiting a year,” he said. “But I know he feels good, but we’re going to take it slow because we can.”

Cashman said the team hasn’t thought far enough ahead about whether Gardner would play in the first spring game (March 2).

“We’ll do the tee and dry toss and then expand it just because we have a timeframe on it,” Cashman said. “Spring training’s long enough, so we don’t have to be rushing on anything.”

The team is not planning any more CT scans for Gardner this spring. The last one, he said, showed “significant” improvement, Cashman said.

It’s said that bruises usually last a few months but if they’re severe enough, can take a year to fully recover. Gardner has a history of wrist problems dating back to last year and when he had surgery in 2010 on his right wrist.

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