Cabrera was injured in the first inning of New York's 7-3 loss to the Rangers on Tuesday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, colliding with the center-field wall in pursuit of an Ian Kinsler triple and feeling his non-throwing shoulder push back after impact.
Yankees head trainer Gene Monahan delivered an initial diagnosis that Cabrera will be sidelined for five to seven days, manager Joe Girardi said, but the club would like to have Cabrera evaluated by team physician Chris Ahmad.
Girardi said that the Yankees could likely proceed for five to seven days without making a roster move to add another outfielder, but if Ahmad's diagnosis is that Cabrera will be out longer, the Yankees would place Cabrera on the 15-day disabled list and call up a player from the Minor Leagues.
With Brett Gardner stepping in after Cabrera's departure on Tuesday and starting in center field on Wednesday, the Yankees do not have a full-fledged backup outfielder with Johnny Damon and Nick Swisher also in the lineup.
Designated hitter Hideki Matsui is not cleared to play defense, though Girardi said the Yankees have had utility infielders Angel Berroa and Ramiro Pena both taking fly balls in case of an emergency.
The Yankees also received encouraging news from Birmingham, Ala., where Dr. James Andrews examined right-hander Brian Bruney and supported the original test results of a strained flexor tendon in his pitching elbow.
Andrews reported that though Bruney has felt pain while throwing, his ligament is structurally fine. The Yankees will have Bruney join the team in Cleveland on Friday, mapping out a throwing program within the next 24 hours to get Bruney back on a mound.
"We want to get him back and keep him back," Girardi said. "He has to be completely forthright so we can get this right."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.