By George A. King III
Matt Holliday, out since late June due to an illness that sapped his energy and resulted in body aches, on Wednesday told The Post that doctors have a diagnosis.
“There’s a virus called Epstein-Barr virus that I tested positive for,’’ the Yankees designated hitter said after an optional batting practice on the field before the Yankees played the Blue Jays in the finale of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium. “There are some tests that aren’t back yet.’’
According to Wikipedia, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is best known as the cause of infectious mononucleosis, associated with a high risk of autoimmune disease. Some 200,000 cancer cases per year are attributed to EBV.
Holliday looked a lot better physically than he did when he left Chicago last week to undergo tests in New York. In batting practice, he regularly launched balls into the left-field seats.
“I’ve been feeling much better,’’ said Holliday, who has been hitting in the indoor cage.
Because he hasn’t played in a game since June 24, Holliday was asked if he thought he would need to minor league rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list.
“I don’t think so, it hasn’t been that long,’’ said Holliday who is eligible to come off the DL on Thursday, an off day for the Yankees. “I haven’t discussed that with them.’’
Holliday’s problem started in Oakland on June 17, when he appeared to suffer an allergic reaction to something he ate prior to the game against the A’s. He was given Benadryl, and the doctor suggested he not play in the game.
Holliday, 37, returned and started the following six games, homering in two of the first three. In those six tilts Holliday, batted .182 (4-for-22). Holliday didn’t play from June 25-27, and was placed on the 10-day DL on June 28.
In 68 games, Holliday is batting .262 with 15 homers, 47 RBIs and a .877 OPS.