Greg Bird hoping this is last time he’ll have to endure rehab stint

Greg Bird hoping this is last time he’ll have to endure rehab stint

TRENTON — Greg Bird is sitting in a clubhouse more than 1,000 miles away from his Yankees teammates because he again is rehabbing an injury, nearing the end of this process for what he hopes will be the final time.

Bird said he knows the “injury-prone” label already has been attached to him and he can’t really blame anyone for slapping it on his back — or ankle, or shoulder.

“Obviously it’s not something you want, but when you get hurt three times in three years, what do you think you’re gonna be labeled as?” Bird said before taking the field Thursday for Double-A Trenton’s 11-5 win over Bowie. “You know what I mean? So I understand.”

Bird went 0-for-2 with three walks, three runs scored and a strikeout. Bird had a second bone spur removed from his right ankle this spring. It’s his third injury in three seasons, a span over which he has played just 48 games with the Yankees. Thunder manager Jay Bell said Bird will be with the Double-A ballclub through Saturday, but nothing has been set beyond that. A return to the Yankees, however, seemingly will come within the next couple of weeks.

As much as Bird’s rehab has been physical, at this point, it’s also mental, a side effect of missing so much time.

“I think as athletes you’re used to always working through things and some days, with rehab, you really have to just shut down and just say, ‘All right, I did enough for today, you know. Bounce back tomorrow and see how I feel and go from there,’ ” Bird said. “So, it kind of goes against everything that you’ve kind of wired yourself to be and that’s what makes it challenging.”

Whether or not Bird’s injuries will affect his mentality on the field is a different question, which can’t be answered with a handful of rehab games.

“Ideally no. Some days I think there’s a little more you gotta do to get going as opposed to other days, but as far as getting out there and playing, try to keep it simple when I’m healthy,” Bird said. “I think the injury stuff can kind of cloud your thinking sometimes, but really it’s about just getting back to running out and playing like you usually play and just going for it.“There’s gonna be [crappy] days. There’s gonna be bad days. Just how it goes.”

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