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Yankees’ James Paxton out 3-4 months after surgery to remove cyst

James Paxton, Yankees

New York Yankees left-hander James Paxton underwent a microscopic lumbar discectomy procedure to remove a peridiscal cyst, the team announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Paxton is expected to miss 3-4 months of action, putting him on track for a return sometime in mid-May or early June, depending on his rehabilitation process.

The 31-year-old reportedly began to experience pain during the final week of the regular season, but responded well to treatment and pitched effectively against the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series.

However, “problems arose anew a month ago,” according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman also reported the Yankees hoped to avoid surgery, but the persistent pain essentially necessitated the surgery:

The Yankees will have to dig a little deeper into their rotational depth especially considering the suspension of right-hander Domingo German.

Jonathan Loaisiga or Jordan Montgomery figure to make some extra starts in light of Paxton’s absence.

Paxton had a successful first year in the Bronx after the Yankees acquired him in a trade with the Seattle Mariners in November 2018. The Canadian native made 29 starts, going 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA in 150 2/3 innings of work.

Paxton was actually at his best during the final two months of the regular season in spite of the purported pain he experienced. He went 4-0 with a 1.05 ERA and a .448 OPS against in five September starts and later dominated Game 5 of the ALCS, allowing just one run and four hits in six innings of work.

Of course, the Yankees made a big splash by adding Gerrit Cole in the offseason, but they will have to make do without their No. 2 starter until he returns.