Yankees pitcher James Paxton out 3-4 months after surgery to remove cyst near his spine

Yankees pitcher James Paxton underwent surgery Wednesday to remove a cyst from near his spine. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

New York Yankees pitcher James Paxton will be out until May or June, the team announced Wednesday, after undergoing surgery to remove a cyst near his spine.

Paxton, 31, will miss 3-4 months after having back surgery in Texas, fixing an issue that had been bothering him since last season.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Paxton first experienced pain toward the end of the 2019 regular season. He got treatment, pitched into the postseason and seemed fine. But the pain re-emerged in the offseason. Paxton tried more treatment, but eventually it was decided that surgery was the better option.

Paxton figured to the Yankees’ No. 3 starter this season behind new ace Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka. Paxton was 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA last season in the Bronx, his first since coming over in a trade from the Seattle Mariners. Paxton has been good throughout his career, but injury-prone. His 29 starts in 2019 were the most of his career.

The Yankees have the depth to manage without Paxton for a few months. Beyond Luis Severino, who will be returning in 2020 after missing most of 2019, the Yankees also have J.A. Happ and Jordan Montgomery who can make starts until June.

Nonetheless, it’s a bad first sign for a Yankees team that is the heavy World Series favorite after signing Cole. Last season, they withstood injuries at every turn but still managed to win 103 games and the AL East title.

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