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Yankees OF Beltran has bone spur in elbow that may need surgery; Suzuki out with achy back

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - Yankees right fielder Carlos Beltran has a bone spur in his right elbow that could require surgery if a pain-relief shot does not ease the symptoms.

Beltran was given a Cortisone injection Monday night, shortly after he felt a sharp pain while taking swings in a batting cage during the Yankees' 9-7 loss to the Mets.

"They said that if the Cortisone does the job and I feel no pain, it's no concern at all," Beltran said. "You just hope it goes away. ... I will be disappointed if I have to have the surgery to take it out and miss time."

The eight-time All-Star had an MRI during the game which revealed an old bone spur. Beltran said he never had pain in the elbow before experiencing it on consecutive practice swings.

It should take two or three days before knowing if the shot has helped, and the Yankees will not make any decision about placing Beltran on the disabled list until then.

Hoping to put off in-season surgery, Beltran asked about having a second shot if the first doesn't work.

"You have to give the Cortisone shot a chance to work. It's an old bone spur but it's aggravating his elbow now," manager Joe Girardi said. "If in a couple days he doesn't feel better, my level of concern will be pretty high."

Even if Beltran can play with the spur, he said he would likely need off-season surgery.

The 37-year-old Beltran was hitting .240 with five homers and 15 RBIs in his first season with the Yankees.

Girardi was without 40-year-old backup outfielder Ichiro Suzuki for the second straight night because of a lower back injury he sustained trying to make a sliding catch Sunday in Milwaukee.

Alfonso Soriano was set to start in right field Tuesday against the crosstown rival Mets and the Yankees called up Zoilo Almonte to provide help in the outfield. To make room for Almonte, the Yankees placed setup man Shawn Kelley on the DL with a back injury, retroactive to May 7.

"It's not really where it needs to get," Girardi said of Kelley's back.

Girardi also said ace CC Sabathia was having his injured right knee examined by Dr. James Andrews, renowned for his work on pitchers' elbows and shoulders.

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