New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, left, greets center fielder Harrison Bader (22) during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
The New York Yankees’ mysterious timeline for Aaron Judge’s return got a little longer this weekend after the star outfielder revealed he has a torn ligament in his right big toe and is not ready to resume baseball activities. Is.
The Yankees are skeptical about Judge’s recovery and noted earlier this week that the reigning AL MVP could possibly return to baseball action later this week. However, those activities don’t even seem close to actually playing baseball.
Judge said, “It’s something I mentioned to the training staff: I want to test it a little bit.” “Maybe play catch, maybe take some dry swing. I just want to see where it is.
He made it clear that seeing where his toe is is just part of a slow-moving process.
Judge continued, “I wouldn’t really say I’m hitting the ground running or doing a lot of baseball activities.” “It’s more passive for me to say, ‘We’ve done a lot here. We’re making some great progress. Let’s test what I’m actually going to do on the field.'”
Judge’s acknowledgment that he still has a long time to return to game action is at odds with what Yankees manager Aaron Boone has been saying for several weeks.
When Judge was first injured after hitting the right field wall while making a catch on JD Martinez at Dodger Stadium on June 3, Boone said the team was not sure whether the outfielder even needed to go on the injured list. No. When Judge discussed the injured list, Boone said it could be a “week by week” fix; However, the team likely learned several weeks ago that Judge was suffering from a torn ligament.
This is a completely different issue.
When Brian Hoch of MLB.com Judge spoke to a sports orthopedic surgeon at NYU Langone about the nature of the injury, with the surgeon saying he believed “optimistically, my best guess would be that (Judge could return) Two months from the date of injury.” That would be around August 3rd.
As yet, Aaron Boone said a week ago There is “a possibility” for Judge to return before the July 11 All-Star Game, a comment that seems almost impossible just days later.
Part of the problem with the timeline is that injuries are unusual for a baseball player.
“I don’t think a lot of people have torn ligaments in their toes,” Judge said before Saturday’s game. “If it was a quad, we would have a better answer. If it’s an oblique or a hamstring, we’ve got deadlines for it. How unique this injury is and it’s my back leg that I push off and run from, it’s a tough spot.”
It’s also a tough spot for the Yankees, who have struggled without their star.
Since Judge has been out of the lineup, the Yankees rank last in baseball with a .193 team batting average. They scored just 51 runs in 17 games and finished last with a .595 team OPS.
Any way you cut it, without Judge the offense has been terrible and now they may have to wait another month to get their star back.
New York has gone 31-19 with Judge in the lineup this year, but is now 42-35 and 9.5 games out of first place in the AL East. They are currently half a game ahead of the Angels for the final wild card spot.But Toronto, Houston and Boston are all within two games, so with Judge out, any extended decline for the Yankees could be costly to their playoff hopes.
“He’s out now,” Boone said. “So obviously trying to get him back as quickly as possible, but whether we have a set day when he’ll be back, the reality is we’re without him right now and we’ve got to find a way to get it done.” to do.”
They certainly aren’t doing it right now, so maybe it’s time to try something different.
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