Yankees announcer Michael Kay 'scared' his return won't last after vocal cord surgery

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/teams/ny-yankees/" data-ylk="slk:Yankees">Yankees</a> TV announcer Michael Kay "scared" his return won't last after vocal cord surgery. (AP/Mary Altaffer)
Yankees TV announcer Michael Kay "scared" his return won't last after vocal cord surgery. (AP/Mary Altaffer)

New York Yankees TV play-by-play announcer Michael Kay made his return on Saturday after taking six weeks off following surgery that removed a nodule from his vocal cords.

Kay called two of the Yankees’ games against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday and Sunday at Yankee Stadium on the YES Network, his first appearance since June.

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His return after the surgery, however, didn’t quite go as well has he had hoped. He said he felt “really nervous” before Saturday’s game, and thinks his voice “didn’t have much.”

“Quite frankly, I’m scared,” Kay said Monday, via the New York Post.

The 58-year-old, who also hosts a daily radio show, was forced to be totally silent since the surgery — and was only able to start speaking again last Tuesday when he was officially cleared by doctors.

The last six weeks, he said, were “awful.”

“(I’ve been) filled with anxiety and fear,” Kay said, via the New York Post. “Not being able to speak for all that time. You’re trapped in your own mind and you’re thinking the worst. It’s been very scary, and at no point do I think I’m all good now.

“It took a long time to get back, and I didn’t want to rush because I want it to be right and I want it to last.”

Kay is taking his return slowly. He is set to return to his radio show next week, and will only work a handful of the team’s nine-game West Coast road trip — sharing duties with Ryan Ruocco, who often filled in for Kay in his absence.

Even though he’s been officially cleared to return, one of his biggest worries is having to choose between calling Yankees games for YES and working his radio show on ESPN. That’s a decision, he said, he hopes he never has to make.

“I almost feel every word I say is a test.” Kay said on the YES Network before his return on Saturday, via the New York Post. “(My doctor) said I would build up, but he also said, ‘You have to see if you can handle the same workload as before.’ If you can’t, then you have to possibly make hard decisions on what you can do. He also said it might be a good idea somewhere down the line to get a vocal coach to learn how to use the voice a bit differently. He also said it’s shocking that I didn’t break down for 28 years of this sort of work.

“I love both jobs and want to keep both jobs. That’s my intent.”

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