NEW YORK — Aaron Judge has taken the next step in his rehabilitation process after suffering a toe injury in Los Angeles a month ago. Judge told reporters on Tuesday morning that he had started light batting practice, including teeing and soft tosses in the cage.
He started playing catch for the Oakland team last week and is slowly making his way into the second half of the season. It’s still unclear when he’ll be back, as the judges aren’t even close to being 100% healthy.
“Besides running, being able to put 270 pounds on one leg when hitting,” Judge said of the biggest potential return. “If you build that strength and take the pain away, you’ll be in a better situation. I kind of understand that you’re going to deal with the recurring pain, so you just get to a level where it’s tolerable, We are not going back here.”
Judges said he expects to deal with some sore toes for the rest of the season. Surgery was ruled out as he would be out of action for the season.
“We won’t do that this year,” said the judge.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone added, “When it’s appropriate and when he can, he’ll be there and I’m confident he’ll be at the level we’re used to seeing.” “I feel like he’s making really good progress in that regard. But from a time standpoint, it’s going to take him as long as he needs to go full force and be Aaron Judge. right.”
The reigning American League MVP hasn’t ruled out having surgery in the offseason, but it will take time to make a decision at a later date. When the judges return, they will likely be playing with a special insole in their right cleat to keep their toes from bending. When Judge last spoke to reporters in New York, he said he still had pain when walking. Although he has improved, he “still doesn’t feel good,” the judge said.
The last comment was notable, and when asked what it meant, the judge said he still felt pain in his pinky finger despite dislocating it two years ago. Pain from other injuries still creeps in from time to time.
“Most importantly, we want him to be able to endure without causing him much pain,” Boone said. “So far, I’ve been seeing him hit his tee shots the last few days and it’s going well. Obviously not serious, but maybe a week or so ago he’s been feeling a little bit in his butt. I think you’ve started to show me a little bit how to get up and spin there a little bit these are small steps he’s improving and getting closer but it’s how he reacts to everything in an acceptable way will be determined by
For now, the judge said rest is the only way to speed up the recovery process. The next step for the judges to come back is to test their toes with running drills.
“If you can run, you can play, but running at 10 percent doesn’t help anyone,” Judge said.
Judges said it remains to be seen whether they will travel to Seattle for next week’s All-Star Game celebration to participate in pre-game preparations. Given his schedule, it’s nearly impossible for him to play. But the Yankees are more interested in getting the judges back as they continue to hold out in the wild card race. Knowing that the Judges have shown their ability to play through various injuries in the past, Boone feels optimistic they could do the same once their superstar returns to the lineup.
“I think over the last few years he’s gotten really good at handling things, whatever it is,” Boone said. “I feel like he did a really good job in figuring out how to manage things and how to get past certain things that not everyone else can do. I think one of the biggest things about is how you can post every day when you’re feeling a little frustrated, and he knows how to do that on a very high level.”
(Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
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