MOOSIC — Brandon Drury has been dealing with pressure and tightness in his head, neck and behind his eyes. He had an “ear feeling.” His vision was blurry, too.
Drury’s been dealing with these symptoms since he was an Arizona Diamondback.
But at the beginning of the month he finally decided enough was enough and it was time to get checked out. His severe migraines and blurred vision sent him to the 10-day disabled list on April 7.
Even though he’s missed the New York Yankees’ last 15 games, the trip to the disabled list might have been a blessing in disguise. Drury finally found out what was wrong.
An irritated tendon running from his neck to his head was causing the symptoms. So doctors devised a treatment plan that has helped relieve the pressure in his neck and, in return, improve his vision.
“It’s been good to see all of the doctors and really try to figure out what’s going on,” said Drury, who played seven innings at third base in a rehab game for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Wednesday. “I’ve been dealing with it for a while, and I can still play through it. But if we can attack this thing and get back it to me being 100 percent, that’s what I want to do. I really think I can help the ball club win a lot of games.
“I was really dealing with it for a while and I didn’t really know an answer. I just kind of battled through it. To kind of know how to help it and what’s going to help, that’s definitely nice for sure.”
While Drury said he’s seen improvements in his symptoms, it’s not something that’s going to get better overnight.
So for his two-game rehab assignment with the RailRiders, he’s keeping it simple. The 25-year-old just wants to make sure his timing is back and his vision has improved when it comes to playing in games.
Even though he admits that his timing’s still a little off, a 2-for-4 night on Wednesday, including a third-inning RBI single, is some nice progress. He was forced to play through some fog and rain, too.
“It’s not going to get better in a week, but I’m seeing improvements and that’s kind of the mindset I’m at. I’m trying to get small improvements each day,” Drury said. “I missed a couple pitches, but I’m not concerned about that. It’s my first game back in almost three weeks.”
RailRiders manager Bobby Mitchell came away impressed with Drury’s performance.
He turned two double plays, including a key seventh-inning turn with the go-ahead run at the plate. Drury’s two singles came in innings when the RailRiders scored seven of their eight runs, too.
“You know what? He’s a gamer. You can tell he’s a flat-out gamer,” Mitchell said. “I was impressed — let’s put it that way — with the way he took it serious and put away his business. You see some guys do it, some guys don’t. He was professional tonight and I’m glad that he’s on the mend.”
But what might have surprised Mitchell the most, was the fact that despite a 56-minute rain delay, Drury came out for the eighth inning, even though he had already exited the game, and stayed in the dugout with the rest of his teammates.
It was a move that’s not often made by rehabbing veterans.
“I’m sure they should and I hope they do,” Mitchell responded when asked if the players noticed Drury joining them for the final two innings. “He’s a pro no matter where he is. He goes out there and plays hard, plays to win. He’s a great influence on everybody here.”
Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle