NEW YORK -- The mystery of Mark Teixeira's persistent cough was solved on Thursday, as a specialist told the Yankees first baseman that he has suffered nerve damage to his vocal cords.
Teixeira was pleased to finally receive a definitive answer and a treatment plan. An early April illness started the coughing fits, which were severe enough to create a lasting issue.
"That's actually really good news for me, because we think we found the reason for all of this," Teixeira said. "She gave me some medicine that will hopefully help the nerve calm down. It's good news for me. It puts my mind at ease."
Teixeira's coughing has calmed recently, but it hasn't completely disappeared, which prompted him to head for another visit to New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Thursday morning.
"My voice still isn't where it needs to be," Teixeira said. "I can't yell out on the field. As a first baseman -- communicating with your pitcher, communicating with your catcher, guys are stealing -- you want to be able to use your voice."
The specialist placed a camera down Teixeira's throat and showed him the pictures. Teixeira said that he was told it could take him up to a year to fully recover; the specialist told him to rest, but Teixeira refuses to do so during the season.
"Because of the damage to the vocal cords, you're always coughing," Teixeira said. "And until you stop coughing, you're not going to get the inflammation out of there. She said it's a vicious cycle, and she said the same thing every other doctor said: 'Go take two weeks off.' That's not going to happen, but it's something I can manage with some medication."