Shin-Soo Choo aiming to return in early August

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Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo underwent surgery on his fractured left thumb during the last week of June. We’re only about 10 days in, but his recovery so far has been free of any hiccups.

According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Choo had the cast removed from his surgically-repaired thumb on Wednesday and is “telling friends” that he could be ready for full-time action by the second week of August.

An early-August return would be wonderful, but it also seems highly doubtful. Choo’s injury was not of the minor variety and the surgery wasn’t either.

More from Hoynes and the Plain Dealer:

It took three hours for Dr. Thomas Graham to repair Choo’s broken left thumb after he was hit by a Jonathan Sanchez pitch June 24. The bone reportedly shattered like glass and had to be reconstructed.

Anytime “bone” and “reconstructed” share the same sentence, it’s a frightening situation. And while Choo might feel improved 10 days into his rehab, there are still quite a few hurdles he’s going to have to climb. There was even some talk at the time of the injury that the South Korean might miss the rest of the season.

CC Sabathia wants to return to the Yankees in 2018

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CC Sabathia‘s contract is set to expire this offseason, but for the long-tenured left-hander, nowhere feels more like home than New York. “I want to see this through,” Sabathia told reporters after a devastating Game 7 loss in the ALCS. “This is where I want to play.” Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman spoke warmly of the veteran starter, but would make no public guarantees that he’d return to the team next spring.

Sabathia, 37, just topped off his 17th season in the big leagues and his eighth career postseason run. He went 14-5 in 27 starts and put up a 3.69 ERA, 3.0 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 148 2/3 innings, good for 1.9 fWAR. He looked solid in the playoffs, too, propelling the team to a much-needed win in Game 5 of the ALDS and returning in the Championship Series with six scoreless innings in Game 3. His season ended on a sour note during Game 7, however. He lasted just 3 1/3 innings against a dynamic Astros’ offense, allowing one run on five hits and three walks and failing to record a single strikeout for the first time in 23 career postseason appearances.

Heading into the 2017 offseason, Sabathia finally arrived at the end of his seven-year, $161 million deal with the Yankees. While he’s repeatedly expressed a desire to keep pitching, despite rumors that his career might be on the rocks following the diagnosis of a troublesome degenerative knee condition, the decision isn’t his alone to make. Brian Cashman will also be seeking an extension with the Yankees this winter, so it’s difficult to say which impending free agents the club will try to retain — and Sabathia’s name isn’t the only one on that list. If it were up to skipper Joe Girardi, who is awaiting a decision on his own future with the organization, the decision would be a no-brainer. From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

CC will always be special to me because of what he stands for and the great player that he is, the great man that he is,” Girardi said. “The wonderful teammate that he is. How he pulls a team together. He’s as good as I’ve ever been around when it comes to a clubhouse guy, a guy that will take the ball when you’re on a losing streak or that you can count on, and knowing that it could be the possible last time.