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Yankees announce Greg Bird will undergo ankle surgery

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 22: New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird (33) watches his ball during an MLB game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees on April 22, 2017 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire)
Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire

New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird will undergo surgery to repair a right ankle injury that has kept him out for most of the year, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reported Monday. Bird’s rehab for the surgery is expected to take six weeks.

Bird has not played since May 1 due to the injury he suffered during spring training after fouling a ball off his foot. The Yankees have struggled to find offensive production from their first basemen with Bird out. They entered Monday with a .671 OPS from their first basemen, the second worst in the majors.

The Yankees signed Chris Carter to work at first with Bird but he was released on July 10 after hitting .201 with 76 strikeouts in 62 games. Tyler Austin was also being used in the Yankees’ first base rotation but he’s currently on the 10-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain.

Bird was slashing .100/.250/.2oo with a home run in 19 games before being placed on the disabled list. He had a .871 OPS with 11 home runs and 31 RBIs with the Yankees in 46 games last year.

Despite injuries hitting 24-year-old first baseman hard early in his career, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman still believes Bird is the team’s long-term answer at first base.

“I think I’ve been very public about the fact that we believe Greg Bird is our first baseman of the present and future, despite not having access to his abilities in the present,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday to the New York Daily News when it was reported Bird might need surgery.

Garett Cooper, whom the Yankees acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers last week, and Ji-Man Choi currently occupy first base for the Yankees.

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