Kelley frustrated by timing of back injury

05/14/2014 10:09 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Right-hander Shawn Kelley has been a key late-inning reliever for the Yankees this season.(AP)
New York Yankees pitcher Shawn Kelley was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, and understandably, he was frustrated by his situation.

Kelley hasn't pitched since May 6 because of a back issue, and after a full week of being unavailable, the Yankees finally had to make a move to disable him and bolster their roster elsewhere - just one day after Kelley himself thought he was ready.

"I know I talked to you guys (Monday) and said I was good to go, but I went and played catch and it sort of tightened up when I sat down, so (manager Joe Girardi) gave me another day," Kelley said following the Yankees' loss on Tuesday. "It didn't really feel much better today, so we finally had to do something about it. I could start to feel better any day, but we can't keep playing the "what if" game and continuing to be a man short in the bullpen."

The worst part, at least for Kelley, may be that no one is exactly sure what's wrong.

"Originally, they thought maybe the disc was irritated, but now I think they think maybe a ligament my spine is a little bit inflamed or slightly strained," he said. "We're just playing the waiting game, waiting for it to quiet down."

Kelley was fine when he threw in Anaheim last Monday and Tuesday, but it was after that last outing when he started to feel it.

"Probably the worst day was the off day (last Thursday), the travel day between Anaheim and Milwaukee," he said. "It started bugging me a little bit in Anaheim, and it's just not getting any better."

No further tests are planned, but for right now, Kelley is unsure of a timetable or any rehab activity.

"Yeah, I'll come in and talk with (trainer) Stevie (Donohue); we hadn't really talked much more beyond what I did today, but I'm sure tomorrow will just be a lot of treatment, ice and heat," Kelley said. "Like I said, it's kind of just a waiting game still at this point."

The move is retroactive to May 7, meaning Kelley won't be back until next Thursday in Chicago at the earliest, and with the Yankees' roster so banged up, the righty is disappointed he can't be out there helping his team.

"It's very frustrating, and to see everyone else going down, CC just going on the DL in Milwaukee and Beltran with his elbow flare-up, it's almost like injuries are contagious right now," he said. "But hopefully we'll all get healthy soon."

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