Gardner suffers another setback

The Yankees have been without left fielder Brett Gardner for more than six weeks, and it appears that he will not return to action before the All-Star break. Gardner, who has been disabled since April 18 because of a right elbow strain, suffered a setback in his second injury-rehabilitation assignment and will visit two specialists.

The Yankees had hoped Gardner could return for their upcoming trip to Atlanta and Washington, D.C., for a couple of inter-league series, but instead he will be examined by Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopedic surgeon, and elbow specialist Dr. Tim Kremchek. Gardner reported pain in the elbow when he played for Class A Charleston Friday on injury rehab.

“There is a concern that we won’t have him for a while,” Yankees manager Joe Giardi said. “He seems to get to a point where he can do everything he needs to do. Then when he plays in the game, maybe it is the intensity being turned up a little bit, some swinging and missing, it seems to bother him.”

Gardner played in nine games for the Yankees and hit .321 with two doubles, three RBI and two stolen bases in 28 at-bats. His place in left field has been taken by a platoon of Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones with DeWayne Wise and Jayson Nix as defensive backups.

The drop-off in defense is the main concern to general manager Brian Cashman, who did not rule out the possibility of a trade. “I don’t want to expose the old guys,” he said, referring to Ibanez, 40, and Jones, 35.

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