But the Yankees are uncertain how much of the damage is new, and how serious it is.
To that end, Nady will undergo a second MRI on Saturday afternoon -- this one without dye, an agent used for contrast. The outfielder has already had one MRI, two X-rays and a CT scan this week. But team doctors have ordered this fifth -- and they believe final -- test, which they hope will bring a measure of clarity to Nady's situation.
"There is no conclusive news on what his injury is right now," manager Joe Girardi said. "That's why they're doing more tests -- to find out exactly what it is."
The dye in some types of MRIs is used to create greater contrast between normal and abnormal tissues in the body.
The Yankees determined through Nady's original MRI that he had suffered ligament damage in his elbow, most of it likely due to the throw that forced him to leave Tuesday's game against the Rays. But the Yankees have ordered an MRI without dye in order to determine the severity of the damage, without the dye blocking any portion of the image.
"We're looking to see the exact extent of the injury and [find] exactly what it is," Girardi said. "It's a little bit too complicated for me. I've seen some pictures of CT scans and X-rays, but I know I'm not a doctor."
As long as the Yankees continue to administer tests, there seems to be a chance that Nady, who underwent Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow in 2001, can avoid another operation and return to play this season.
"It gives me at least some hope," Nady said. "That's all you can ask for."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.