Could Judge return on Friday? Boone says the Yankees “will see”

Aaron Judge - the captain of the New York Yankees.

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The Bronx Bombers may soon receive a much-needed boost, as star outfielder Aaron Judge inches closer to making his long-awaited return to the New York Yankees‘ lineup. Since early June, Judge has been recovering from a toe injury that has kept him sidelined, but recent developments suggest his comeback could be just around the corner.

During his time in rehab, Judge has been putting effort to recover. On Wednesday, the player took part in batting practice at the team’s complex in Tampa, Florida, showcasing his readiness to return to action. Moreover, recent reports suggest that Judge could be making his return to the Yankees sooner than anticipated.

Aaron Boone cautious about Judge’s comeback timeline

Despite the anticipation, Yankees manager Aaron Boone remains cautious about Judge’s comeback timeline. After the team’s 3-1 victory over the New York Mets on Wednesday night, Boone addressed the media at Yankee Stadium, revealing the uncertainty surrounding Judge’s status. He expressed that while the possibility of Judge coming off the injured list to face the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles on Friday night exists, no definitive decision has been made yet.

Earlier in the day, speculations ran high as important outlets reported that Aaron Judge is expected to be activated on Friday, barring any late setbacks. This news has sparked excitement among the Yankees’ faithful, who eagerly await their MVP outfielder’s triumphant return.

Boone emphasized the team’s cautious approach, stating that they are carefully evaluating Judge’s condition on a day-to-day basis. Interestingly, the manager has not ruled out the possibility of bringing Judge back into the lineup without a minor league rehab assignment, despite the Yankees’ current struggle as they find themselves in last place with a record of 54-48. As the team enjoys a day off on Thursday, the decision on Judge’s activation will surely be meticulously assessed by the coaching staff.

The injury that sidelined Judge occurred on June 3 during a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. While attempting to make a catch at Dodger Stadium, he tore a ligament in his right big toe after crashing into the right-field fence. Fortunately, Judge’s recovery process has shown significant acceleration since the All-Star break, culminating in the positive simulated game on Sunday at Yankee Stadium where he faced live pitching for the first time since the injury.

In his rehabilitation journey, Judge has actively taken part in fielding and running bases during his time in Florida. The determined outfielder admitted that he may still experience some discomfort upon his return, but the Yankees are confident that he’ll be able to contribute effectively in the right field rather than just serving as a designated hitter.

The Yankees have sorely missed Judge’s presence on the field during his absence, evident in their recent performance, going 19-23 in games since his injury. Before the toe setback, Judge also missed ten games earlier in the season due to a right hip strain he sustained while attempting to steal third base on his 31st birthday, April 26.

As the reigning AL MVP from 2022, Aaron Judge boasts an American League record of 62 home runs. This season, he holds a commendable batting average of .291, with 19 home runs and 40 RBIs. It’s worth noting that this year marks the first season of his colossal $360 million, nine-year contract, signed last offseason, which solidifies his status as a pivotal player for the franchise.

The Yankees have undoubtedly thrived with Judge on the field, boasting an impressive record of 30-19 in games where the star outfielder has played. As the excitement builds, fans eagerly await the final decision on Aaron Judge’s activation, anticipating his explosive return to the lineup and the potential resurgence of the Yankees’ playoff ambitions.

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