Aaron Judge braces to return without full healing, cites playing through pain previously

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Yankees superstar slugger Aaron Judge is bracing to return to the Yankees lineup without recovering fully. As he is aware that the injured toe may prolonged recovery, the AL MVP is ready to play through pain and discomfort this season. The Yankees captain revealed this to reporters at his locker ahead on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.

“The injury takes a year or two years or three years (to fully heal), and I still think you feel that,” he told. “You never know what it’s going to feel like. I can’t see the future.”

Currently, Aaron Judge is out of the Yankees’ active roster following a torn ligament in his right toe. He acknowledged that his injured right toe, which has kept him out of action since early June, may continue to cause discomfort upon his return. He also mentioned the possibility of undergoing off-season surgery, although even that may not guarantee a fully healed toe by the start of the 2024 spring training. However, Aaron Judge ruled out any surgery during the ongoing season.

According to Aaron Judge, there have been discussions about the possibility of surgery for his toe injury, but he expressed uncertainty about whether it is necessary at this time. He emphasized that he was not a doctor and mentioned that various options had been mentioned by medical professionals regarding his condition.

Prior to establishing a potential timeline for his comeback, Aaron Judge must reach a stage where he can engage in activities such as running the bases, pursuing flyballs, and enduring the discomfort associated with exerting forceful swings.

Aaron Judge expressed the importance of being able to run effectively, as it directly impacts his ability to contribute to the field. He emphasized that running at a diminished capacity would not be beneficial for the team. Additionally, Judge highlighted the significance of being able to bear the weight of his body while hitting, particularly the challenge of relying on one leg while maintaining balance and generating power.

“I’ve got to be able to run,” he said. “If I can run, then I can play. Me running at 10 percent ain’t going to help anybody out there. … Besides running, it’s me being able to put 270 pounds on one leg when I’m hitting……I understand you’re going to deal with some pain coming back, so it’s just about getting to a point where it’s tolerable and we’re not setting ourselves back.”

Aaron Judge expressed optimism about his return, stating that once he strengthens the affected area and alleviates the pain, the condition would be favorable. He acknowledged the likelihood of experiencing some pain upon returning but emphasized the importance of reaching a point where it is manageable to avoid any setbacks in the recovery process.

Despite engaging in activities such as playing catch and participating in light-hitting sessions, Aaron Judge’s progress in terms of running appears to be far from complete. Before he can make a comeback to the Yankee lineup, he must first regain full running capability, which is currently hindered by the sprained big right toe that has kept him out of action for the past month.

The subsequent progression will involve moving on to the running phase. That appears to be quite distant. Aaron Judge expressed the importance of being able to run before returning to play. He emphasized that running at only 10 percent would be of no benefit to anyone.

Aaron Judge played with an injury previously

Yankees captain Aaron Judge is seen playing against the Reds in Cincinnati on May 20, 2023.

Throughout his interaction with the press on Tuesday, Aaron Judge made multiple references to the dislocated pinky injury he sustained in 2021, highlighting its lasting impact on his finger. Despite grappling with the lingering effects of the injury, the AL MVP managed to overcome them and deliver an impressive performance by smashing 62 home runs last year.

In his current situation, Aaron Judge is optimistic about the prospect of acquiring new cleats designed to minimize the discomfort he experiences while at the plate. According to him, he is considering the use of stiffer insoles for his cleats to provide better support and range of motion for his injured big toe. The slugger expressed his eagerness to return to the team and contribute as soon as he can.

Aaron Judge also told that while winning every game is undoubtedly desirable, the team had been performing admirably following the Yankees’ 8-4 win over the Orioles. He mentioned that they had engaged in some intense competitions, indicating the team’s favorable standing. The captain expressed confidence that the team would reach the desired state once all the players were back in action and in good health.

Uncertainty continues over his return

Yankees captain Aaron Judge busted the bullpen door at Dodger Stadium while making a spectacular catch on June 3, 2023.

Since June 3, Aaron Judge has been actively participating in games despite sustaining a toe injury during a remarkable catch he made in a Yankees-Dodgers match when crashing through a latched door in the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium. After a month, he noticed a reduction in walking discomfort. Recently, he has begun practicing hitting off a tee, focusing more on controlled swings rather than powerful ones. Although his progress may be modest, any improvement is certainly preferable to none at all.

Aaron Judge admitted that he was not experiencing optimal comfort, stating, “It doesn’t feel great.” He expressed skepticism about returning to a state of normalcy within the current year but mentioned that his ability to walk was relatively good at the moment.

While the specific timeframe for Aaron Judge’s return remains uncertain, the possibility of a comeback in the middle to late July has not been dismissed.

Aaron Judge expressed his determination to expedite the recovery process, stating that he was doing everything within his power to accelerate it.

“I’m doing anything I can to speed the process up,’’ he said.

Boone is positive, Yankees are eager to see him back

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According to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, the captain will be the one to inform the team about his readiness for a return. The priority is ensuring that he engages in activities that Aaron Judge can handle without experiencing excessive discomfort. Boone acknowledged that the slugger had recently been hitting off the tee, and the progress was positive. The Yankees hitting coach also found his swing flawless. Although not at full intensity, about a week ago, Aaron Judge demonstrated some rotational movement on his backside, indicating signs of improvement.

Boone emphasized that the team has observed small but significant strides in Aaron Judge’s recovery process, indicating improvement and approaching proximity to a return. However, the ultimate decision on his comeback will depend on how he responds to various activities and whether he can endure them without significant discomfort.

Undoubtedly, the Yankees are eager to have Aaron Judge back in action at the earliest opportunity. However, they are equally cautious about rushing his return and risking a situation where he promptly reverts to the injured list.

Boone emphasized the significance of Aaron Judge’s ability to rotate on his back foot and toe, indicating its importance in his return. The slugger himself would be the best judge of whether he can perform this movement at the required level. Boone acknowledged his star player’s track record over the past couple of years, noting his adeptness at playing through minor issues and his ability to navigate and manage various challenges. Aaron Judge has demonstrated his capacity to understand and cope with such circumstances, which sets him apart from others.

Boone highlighted a significant aspect of Aaron Judge’s growth and development, focusing on his ability to consistently perform and remain in the lineup even when dealing with minor injuries. The AL MVP has acquired valuable knowledge and skills in effectively managing and maintaining his availability on a day-to-day basis, showcasing a high level of proficiency in this regard.

The expert view

According to the New York Post, Dr. Spencer Stein, a sports orthopedic surgeon at NYU Langone Health, Aaron Judge has a good chance to recover quickly considering that he is able to swing a bat merely four weeks after the injury is a promising indication.

In certain cases, surgery may be considered a viable option; however, it entails a recovery period of approximately four to six months. Dr. Stein remarked that if Aaron Judge was already engaging in activities such as playing catch and swinging a bat, which were suggesting that the injury could not be a complete tear.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Aaron Judge braces to return without full healing, cites playing through pain previously

  1. I would say Judge can handle DH duties and Stanton, provided he doesn’t get injured can man RF.

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