Brett Gardner to have elbow surgery next week, likely done for season

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Brett Gardner has been trying to come back from a right elbow injury for three months. And now he’ll likely have to wait until 2013 to play another major league game.

According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, the Yankees announced this evening that Gardner will undergo surgery next week to remove inflamed tissue from the elbow and is likely to miss the rest of the season. The surgery will be performed by Yankees team doctor Christopher Ahmad.

Gardner hasn’t played since April 17 due to the injury. He tried to ramp things up multiple times, even going on two rehab assignments, but the discomfort in the elbow lingered. His latest setback came after he faced live pitching over the weekend.

The Yankees have relied on a combination of 40-year-old Raul Ibanez and 35-year-old Andruw Jones in left field during Gardner’s absence. While that certainly isn’t the way Yankees general manager Brian Cashman drew it up during the offseason, they seem to be doing just fine. Heck, even Dewayne Wise has played well in a small sample. Still, Cashman figures to keep an eye out for improvements in the coming days.

Video: Shin-Soo Choo hits a historic walk-off home run

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Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo hit one for the history books on Saturday as he fueled the team’s 4-3 win over the Royals with a walk-off home run in the 10th. The homer — a leadoff solo shot off of a Kevin McCarthy fastball — was Choo’s eighth of the year and 176th of his career, giving him the edge over Hideki Matsui for the most MLB home runs by an Asian-born player.

Exactly what happened to the ball afterwards is still a bit of a mystery, though the Rangers put out a PSA after the game’s dramatic finish. It doesn’t look like anyone has stepped forward with the ball just yet.

Choo, 35, is off to a solid start this season. While he’s nowhere near the .276-average, 3.4+ fWAR totals of years past, he’s batting a strong .259/.359/.423 with eight home runs, two stolen bases and a .782 OPS in 234 plate appearances so far.

His extra-inning blast gave the Rangers the necessary advantage for their 22nd win of the year. Had it not been for Bartolo Colon‘s three-run snafu in the third inning, the right-hander would have joined Choo with a historical milestone of his own: the most career pitcher wins by a Dominican-born player, with 243.