NEW YORK -- On Thursday, Mark Teixeira hobbled into the clubhouse and spoke of being optimistic about returning before the regular season ends and hopefully playing if the New York Yankees make a lengthy postseason run.
It turned out to be wishful thinking for the 35-year-old first baseman.
A week after being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a bone bruise in his right shin, Teixeira was ruled out for the rest of the season, including the postseason, after the latest MRI and CT scans discovered a fracture.
"Actually not surprised," Teixeira said. "It was really just kind of wishful thinking. It's been really painful. I know the difference between pain and soreness. It's been painful since Day One. We were just kind of trying to figure out why it wasn't healing and today we figured it out."
The results of the tests mean Teixeira will be shut down for at least three months and his next appearance against live pitching will be in spring training when he enters the final season of an eight-year, $180 million contract signed after the 2008 season.
"This one definitely shows a fracture and it also shows some healing of a bone and some calcification now growing where the fracture exists, where the previous testing did not show a fracture," New York general manager Brian Cashman said before Friday's game with the Toronto Blue Jays. "I'm not a doctor, and I know medicine's not an exact science and there's a purpose of following the injury and repeating tests, as we've done now a third time, and there's a definite obvious conclusion to this test where there wasn't on any prior test."
The saga of Teixeira's shin initially began when he a fouled a pitch by Minnesota Twins reliever Brian Duensing off the leg in the sixth inning on Aug. 17. He initially was considered day to day and missed a week. But when he returned Aug. 25-26 for games against the Astros, it was apparent that Teixeira was still not healed based upon how slow he ran to first base on groundouts.
Teixeira was sent for further testing while the Yankees were in Boston last week before being placed on the disabled list. At the time of the transaction, his return date was unknown.
The news ends what had been a renaissance season for Teixeira, who had been limited by two wrist injuries. Last year, he batted .216 in his first full season back from the injury. This year, he made the All-Star team and finished with a .255 average to go along with 31 home runs and 79 RBIs.
"You can't really put into words how disappointed I am," Teixeira said. "This team, I feel like this team has a chance to win a World Series. I really do. And not to be able to be on the field during that run is really tough to take."
Cashman said, "It's really disappointing news. I feel bad for Mark. One of the reasons we're where we're at is because of everything that clearly Mark did this year for us. He had been a superb player batting in the middle of that lineup and one of our big weapons against left-handed pitching, especially because we're so left-handed dominant lineup-wise.
"So I'm disappointed for him, but these circumstances exist in 162-game seasons, and you've got to just adjust."
Unlike two years ago when the adjustment was using veteran Lyle Overbay, the Yankees have an internal replacement from the minor leagues. Heading into Friday, Gregory Bird was hitting .241 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in the majors while also drawing praise for his calm demeanor as a 22-year-old rookie.
"The word for Bird is professionalism," Cashman said. "He just seems like such a pro."