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Yankees’ Aaron Judge Provides Timeline, Injury Update

New York Yankees superstar Aaron Judge provided an update on his timeline, as he is dealing with some aches and pains.

TAMPA – The New York Yankees have already lost Cy Young ace Gerrit Cole for an extended period of time due to an elbow issue, now they’re hoping fellow superstar Aaron Judge can make it to Opening Day in good health.

Judge stood in the Yankee clubhouse at Steinbrenner Field on Thursday following a day, in which he did outfield work, where he offered an update on his timeline of when he might start swinging a bat, as well as when he can appear in Grapefruit League games again.

The plan, according to Yankees manager Aaron Boone is for Judge to start swinging a bat on Friday. But when asked about this possibility, Judge played it cool, and said he is taking it day-by-day.

Should Judge be able to take swings with no discomfort to his abdomen or oblique area, the Yankees are hoping to get him into an exhibition game on Saturday.

In the same breath, Judge says there’s no rush in getting back into Grapefruit League games because these contests don’t matter. His goal is to play Opening Day and he believes with the right caution that he will be able to do so.

On Wednesday night, sources told Inside the Pinstripes that Judge’s abdomen issue, which he received clean MRI results on earlier in the week, is actually related to his oblique because the fourth group of abdominal muscles are connected to the external oblique muscle, per 

The oblique is a tricky muscle because when sluggers and pitchers alike strain it, usually it turns into a 6-8 week injury. Judge doesn’t want that, nor do the Yankees, so it makes sense why they are being so careful.

Beyond the abdomen and oblique ailments, Judge’s toe is still something he will need to manage regularly moving forward after tearing a ligament last season that forced him to miss 42 games. It will require constant maintenance for the rest of his career, but Judge says the toe feels better than ever right now.

But while it is very promising that Judge says the toe is feeling good, he is expected to play center field every day this season due to the arrival of Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo, who will be patrolling the corner outfield spots. Center is a very taxing position on the lower half of an outfielder’s body, so it is definitely something to keep an eye on with Judge given his toe injury. The Yankees might need to be creative in finding ways to get him in the lineup everyday, whether it is letting him play a corner spot or by serving as the DH at times to give him a breather from center.

With Cole out for a while, the Yankees are going to be leaning on their offense more than ever, and they need Judge to be a part of the lethal duo in the heart of the batting order with Juan Soto. And if the Yankees are going to get to where they plan on going this year, which is the World Series, Judge has to stay healthy across a full season.

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