The Yankees lost ace Masahiro Tanaka to a partially torn ligament in his elbow this week, an injury that will keep him out for at least six weeks. He will attempt to rehab the tear on the recommendation of three doctors, but if that doesn't work, he will need Tommy John surgery.
On Friday, Tanaka issued an apology to his teammates and Yankees fans for the injury and not being able to help as they make a push for the postseason:
“As recently announced from the team, I will be going through some treatment and rehab on my injured elbow over the next several weeks. I give everything I have every time I take the ball. With that, I also know that there will always be a risk of injury when playing this game that I love. Right now I feel that the most important thing for me is to keep my head up, remain focused on the task at hand and devote all my energy into healing the injury in order to come back strong.
“I want to apologize to the Yankees organization, my teammates and our fans for not being able to help during this time. I accept this injury as a challenge, but I promise to do everything I can to overcome this setback and return to the mound as soon as possible.”
Obviously this stems from the culture in Japan, where players consider baseball a job and take it extremely seriously. Hideki Matsui issued a similar apology after breaking his wrist sliding for a ball in the outfield back in 2006.
I know it's the culture, but man, it blows my mind whenever an athlete apologizes for an injury like this. Players get hurt, that's sports.