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Yankees' Luis Severino sidelined with right forearm soreness

Injuries to Paxton and now Severino impacting club's rotation early in spring

The Yankees hope to benefit from a fully healthy Luis Severino in 2020. (AP)

TAMPA -- Luis Severino stared in for an imaginary sign, lifted his glove up to begin his windup, pantomimed throwing a pitch and then flubbed his line. And then he laughed. Then Severino went through the same choreographed routine and botched the words again. And Severino howled again.

This amusing scene transpired in a compact room at Steinbrenner Field as Severino participated in a commercial shoot for the YES Network. Eventually, Severino nailed his lines, which included him shouting into the camera as if he had just whiffed Jose Altuve, and then dashing off the set. When Severino left the room Thursday morning, he was still smiling.

A few hours later, manager Aaron Boone, general manager Brian Cashman and a legion of Yankees fans weren't smiling as the team disclosed that Severino had right forearm soreness and wouldn't throw for at least a few days. Boone said that Severino's forearm issue stretched back to the last game he pitched against the Astros in the ALCS in October. Severino also has a loose body in his arm.

"It's Sevy and there's discomfort that's been off and on and that's continued," Boone said. "That's certainly concerning. We'll just have to see how this continues to declare itself."

After Severino tossed 4 1/3 innings in Game 3 of the ALCS, Boone said the pitcher experienced slight forearm discomfort. But Cashman said that Severino's pain soon dissipated and he was prepared to pitch in Game 7, if the series had advanced that far.

The Yankees thought Severino's issue was resolved because it subsided so quickly, but he complained of more pain in the offseason and eventually underwent two MRIs and a CT scan, which were all negative. But, once Severino resumed throwing his changeup this week, he experienced more problems with his forearm Wednesday night. To throw his changeup, Severino pronates his arm, and that has presumably led to the discomfort.

"It could be nothing and just a timing issue," Cashman said, "or it could be something."

While Severino isn't scheduled to undergo any more tests, Cashman said that could obviously change. For now, Dr. Christopher Ahmad, the Yankees' physician, has prescribed an undetermined period of rest and a fresh round of anti-inflammatory medication for Severino, who had completed a round of anti-inflammatories two or three days ago. The Yankees said Ahmad is scheduled to examine Severino on Friday.

Cashman refused to speculate on whether Severino might not be healed in time to make the Opening Day roster, simply saying, "Everything is possible because we're dealing with an unknown."

During a 2019 season in which the Yankees won 103 games, they also placed a record 30 players on the injured list. Now, before their first Spring Training game, the Yankees already know pitcher James Paxton will be sidelined until at least May after having a cyst removed from near his spine, they have heard their G.M. call Severino's status "an unknown" and they have seen Aaron Judge, their best player, experience some shoulder soreness that will keep him out of the spring opener on Saturday. But Cashman wasn't lapsing into a feeling of deja vu.

"Injuries are part of the game," Cashman said. "Dealing with injuries are part of the game."