Latest update on Yankees’ Anthony Rizzo: ‘signs of progress’

MIAMI — Anthony Rizzo is feeling better, which is hopeful for a person who had cited a brain fog and feeling hungover without drinking alcohol.

His latest doctor’s appointment was “encouraging,” he said. But he does not sound close to returning to the field.

The Yankees first baseman returned to the club, meeting his teammates for the series against the Marlins, but he is not yet participating in baseball activities.

He hopes to begin doing more on the field “in the next week,” he said, but there is no timetable for his return.

“I was playing on this for two months, so if I think it’s going to go away in a week, it’s wishful thinking,” Rizzo said Friday before the Yankees’ 9-4 win over the Marlins at loanDepot Park. “But there are definitely signs of progress. Just one day at a time.”

Rizzo was moved to the 10-day injured list Aug. 3 with post-concussion syndrome, which the Yankees and medical professionals believe stemmed all the way back to the May 28 collision with the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr.

Anthony Rizzo is making progress from his concussion, but his return to Yankees is not imminent.
Anthony Rizzo is making progress from his concussion, but his return to Yankees is not imminent.
Corey Sipkin for the NY Post

After Rizzo complained of fogginess months after the incident, a neurologist ran him through a series of tests that showed his reaction time was “a lot slower,” he said, than a normal person’s reaction time.

Thursday’s battery of tests showed improvement, though the doctors do not have a baseline for Rizzo that would better judge when he has returned to normal health.

“Everything across the board, steps in the right direction,” Rizzo said of the results. “It’s what we want to keep seeing.”

In the meantime, Rizzo has been taking medical supplements, has been cleared to fly, has played catch and can do some work in the weight room, but he has not been in the cage or done anything too strenuous.

Previous to being sidelined, Rizzo was in a deep funk that the brain injury might explain.

Before Tatis crashed into Rizzo at first base, Rizzo posted an .880 OPS with 11 home runs in 53 games. After the crash, Rizzo’s OPS plummeted to .496 with one homer in 46 games.

If the 34-year-old returns this season, he would first need to be cleared medically and then quickly feel ready to face major league pitching.

He said he is “not really worried” about the long pause in between at-bats.

“I’ve gone weeks without hitting and ramped up quickly,” said Rizzo, who has been replaced at first base by Jake Bauers.

Rizzo said he was happy to be back in the clubhouse and happy with his latest doctor’s appointment, even if a timeline is elusive.

“It was good news,” Rizzo said. “Hopefully next week is better news.”

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