Boone could be out for season with torn ACL
Updated: Tuesday January 27, 2004 1:03PM
By Tom Verducci, SI.com
NEW YORK -- New York Yankees third baseman Aaron Boone could miss the entire 2004 season after suffering a major knee injury last week while playing basketball in violation of his contract with the club, according to two baseball sources.
The sources said doctors believe Boone suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
The Yankees will seek all or some relief from the $5.75 million they were to pay Boone this season. Boone, whose dramatic home run ended the epic seventh game of the 2003 American League Championship Series against Boston, avoided arbitration Dec. 1 when he agreed to the one-year deal to return to the Yankees. His contract contains a standard clause that prevents the player from engaging in activities considered to pose significant risk of injury. Basketball is specifically mentioned in the clause as a prohibited activity.
Boone, who will turn 31 in March, hit .254 with six homers and 31 RBIs in 54 games with the Yankees after they obtained him in a trade with Cincinnati on July 31, 2003. New York gave up its best pitching prospect, Brandon Claussen, to obtain Boone.
The Yankees expect that Boone will be out for the year, though there is chance he could return in August depending on his rehabilitation.
New York has no full-time replacement on hand to play third base. Utility men Miguel Cairo and Enrique Wilson have never played the position regularly in the big leagues. Prospect Drew Henson hit .234 in Class AAA Columbus last year and is not considered ready for the major leagues.