- Associated Press - Friday, March 23, 2012

TAMPA, FLA. (AP) - Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain dislocated his right ankle while playing with his son at a local spot that had a trampoline, jeopardizing his immediate future after yet another odd misstep for New York’s bullpen at spring training.

There was no timetable for Chamberlain’s return. The team did not say whether the 26-year-old pitcher was using the trampoline equipment when he was injured Thursday.

The accident at a play area came two weeks after All-Star setup man David Robertson hurt himself moving boxes at home.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday that Chamberlain had surgery and would be hospitalized at least a few days. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound righty was working his way back from elbow ligament replacement surgery and wasn’t expected to return until June or July.

Asked Friday if this could threaten Chamberlain’s career, Cashman said: “I’m not in position to say. Right now it’s too early for that. He’s in very good hands. He’s a healer. He’s a tough guy.”

Bone broke through the skin during the dislocation. Chamberlain was scheduled for an MRI exam and CT scan Friday.

“My guess is he landed funny,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Girardi said he spent about 30 minutes with Chamberlain at the hospital Friday morning that both of them were “a little emotional.”

“I wanted to see how he was doing. You know it’s crushing. I just told him, we’re going to be here for him, we’re going to get you through this and we’re going to get you back on the mound. But you’re going to go through some difficult times,” Girardi said.

“You can only look forward. You’ve got to look forward. You can’t look at `what if?’” he said. “You can see the disappointment, there’s no doubt that.”

Earlier this month, Robertson stumbled on the stairs of his home in St. Petersburg while moving empty boxes for recycling. The Yankees‘ fears of a serious injury were abated when Robertson was diagnosed with a bone bruise.

And once it became clear Robertson’s injury was minor, his teammates let him have it. Among those in the clubhouse weighing in with sarcastic cracks about carrying boxes was Chamberlain himself. Chamberlain often is like a big kid himself, joking with teammates and playing around.

But there was little humor coming out of the Yankees‘ camp Friday. The mood in the clubhouse was somber, and Cashman seemed shaken as he met with reporters. He even acknowledged at the end of the media session that he was rambling.

“He’s facing a lot right now,” Cashman said. “I can’t tell you, really, anything more than something unfortunate happened. We’re in the very early information side of this thing.”

In January, Chamberlain agreed to a one-year contract for $1,675,000, up from $1.4 million last year. The deal was not guaranteed. Cashman said Friday it’s not the right time to talk about Chamberlain’s contract status.

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