Brett Gardner's return for the New York Yankees is imminent, although the outfielder will only be available as a defensive replacement and pinch runner.
Gardner suffered a bruised elbow back in April that refused to heal, forcing him to the disabled list and eventually requiring arthroscopic surgery in July that seemed like it would shut him down for the rest of the season. That wasn't the case, as Gardner will definitely be returning to the Yankees by the end of the season. However, he won't be swinging a bat: after re-injuring himself several times trying to do so in rehab stints, Gardner will be available only as a fielder and pinch runner. Joe Girardi wouldn't rule out the option of Gardner potentially landing on the team's postseason roster when he comes back.