Joba Chamberlain issues first comments since ankle injury

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Joba Chamberlain spoke with reporters tonight at the Yankees’ spring training complex for the first time since suffering an open dislocation of his right ankle last Thursday while jumping on a trampoline with his 5-year-old son.

While we heard some sensational stories in the aftermath of the injury, Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com reports that Chamberlain strongly denied reports that he lost significant amounts of blood and that his life was potentially in danger.

“I didn’t lose a lot of blood, contrary to what people wrote and what people read,” Chamberlain said. “It wasn’t life-threatening. I wasn’t planning on losing my foot. That was it.”

Chamberlain got particularly emotional when discussing the criticism he has faced for his decision to take his son to the trampoline facility.

“This game is very important to me; it allows me to do a lot of things,” Chamberlain continued, with eyes welling up. “But my son is my pride and joy. I think that was the biggest thing. Don’t be so hard on yourself and realize what you were doing. You were trying to be a good dad.”

Chamberlain is expected to be in a non-weight bearing cast for six weeks and there’s no clear timetable for him to get back on a mound, but he expressed optimism about his chances of pitching this season.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of things that are gonna have to happen before that,” Chamberlain said. “(But) I think there is a great chance that that is definitely going to happen.”

Setting aside potential complications with the ankle, Chamberlain is also working his way back from Tommy John surgery, so the odds are against him meeting his goal. For his part, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman refused to speculate on a potential return date, saying that “no one can tell you whether he’ll pitch this year or not yet.”

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.