How serious is Aaron Judge’s second injury in 2023?

Aaron Judge was seen minutes before he was injured at Dodger Stadium on June 3, 2023.
John Allen
Wednesday June 7, 2023

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Aaron Judge‘s impressive performance for the New York Yankees, demonstrating MVP-caliber skills, has been momentarily halted as he is set to be placed on the injured list.

Following Tuesday’s game, Yankees manager Aaron Boone informed reporters that Aaron Judge will be placed on the 10-day injured list due to a combination of a bruise and sprain in a ligament located in his right big toe. Reports indicate that Aaron Judge received a platelet-rich plasma injection to aid in the healing process and fortunately avoided any fractures.

This will mark the second time this season that Aaron Judge will be sidelined and placed on the injured list. Previously, he missed a total of 10 games in late April and early May due to a hip injury. Unfortunately, during that period, the Yankees struggled and experienced six losses out of the 10 games.

Manager Aaron Boone confirmed that Aaron Judge did not suffer a fracture, but instead, he was diagnosed with a contusion and a ligament sprain. However, there is currently no specific timeline for his return to the Yankees‘ lineup.

During Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Aaron Judge sustained a toe injury while making an impressive catch that prevented J.D. Martinez from gaining extra bases. In the process of making the catch, Judge collided with the Dodger Stadium bullpen and forcefully opened the gate with his substantial 282-pound frame.

After receiving attention from trainers, Aaron Judge was cleared to continue playing in the game. However, he has not taken the field since then, indicating a break from his usual participation.

Since the incident, concerns about Aaron Judge’s health have lingered, and Boone informed reporters on Tuesday that the player would undergo examination by a team doctor. Boone expressed optimism that Aaron Judge’s time on the injured list would be brief, noting that the primary issue at the moment is swelling in his toe.

The top priority at the moment is reducing the swelling in Aaron Judge’s toe. There has been some improvement in that aspect today, but the team will continue to monitor his progress in the upcoming days or weeks. While the situation could have been more severe, there is confidence that Judge will ultimately be fine, but he will require some time for recovery. The hope is that the duration of his absence will be relatively short.

Aaron Judge’s injury comes at an unfortunate time, as he has been having another outstanding season. With 19 home runs, he currently leads all of Major League Baseball in that category. His batting line of .291/.404/.674 is also impressive, resulting in a league-leading 1.078 OPS. These numbers are reminiscent of his remarkable 2022 campaign, during which he won the AL MVP award and set the American League home run record.

Yankees concerned at Aaron Judge’s toe

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

In the unfortunate scenario that Aaron Judge’s toe is indeed injured, the Yankees could face a substantial setback with his absence from the lineup. A potential recovery period of four to six weeks would be a significant loss for the team. Aaron Judge’s offensive performance has been exceptional this season, highlighted by his league-leading 19 home runs in only 49 games. His contributions have been instrumental, and finding a suitable replacement for his production would be a challenging task.

Following the game, Aaron Judge was not present for interviews, leaving his status unclear. However, left-handed pitcher Nestor Cortes shed some light on his own injury situation. Cortes revealed that he was currently dealing with a minor shoulder sprain, which had resulted in a 15-day period without throwing. He is set to undergo a re-evaluation around June 16 to determine his progress and next steps.

Both Aaron Judge and Nestor Cortes underwent platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections as part of their respective injury treatments. This regenerative therapy aims to promote healing and accelerate the recovery process.

According to Newsday’s Erik Boland, Josh Donaldson expressed his thoughts on Aaron Judge’s absence, highlighting the challenges the team faces without his leadership and performance. Donaldson emphasized the need for the team to unite, play solid defense, pitch well, and maintain their winning momentum until Judge returns.

The Yankees have been grappling with injuries to several outfielders, including Harrison Bader, who is currently out due to a hamstring strain. Giancarlo Stanton, who recently recovered from his own hamstring strain, is currently limited to the designated hitter role to minimize the risk of re-injury. The team is prioritizing caution and avoiding hasty decisions in returning Stanton to the outfield to mitigate the chances of additional injuries.

At present, the Yankees are uncertain about when Aaron Judge will be able to make a comeback, and they are eagerly anticipating the results of additional assessments. With Aaron Judge sidelined, the team will need to make adjustments to their lineup and rely on other players to step up and compensate for his absence.

The Yankees’ bench strength will face another challenge if Aaron Judge is unable to play. Nevertheless, Boone maintains his confidence in the team’s capacity to compete and anticipates that the players will rise to the occasion in Judge’s absence.

Uncertainty over Aaron Judge’s return

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees is at the dugout in Cincinnati against the Reds on May 21, 2023.
NamethatYank/ Twitter

After undergoing tests, Aaron Judge’s toe showed some improvement in swelling, but it remains uncertain when he will return. The team’s physician, Dr. Chris Ahmad, was set to evaluate his toe and make a decision on the appropriate steps forward.

The nature of Aaron Judge’s injury suggests it could potentially be a broken toe. At present, manager Aaron Boone is uncertain whether his captain will need to return to the injured list for a second time. The upcoming test results will provide clarity on the severity of the injury and the necessary course of action.

Even Aaron Judge himself is unsure about the possibility of missing additional games due to his injury. When questioned about the nature of his ailment, he admitted to being uncertain about its exact nature. In his own words:

“It’s tough to say, you know? I’ve never broken a toe, so we’ll see. We’ll see what the tests say. I don’t want to throw anything out there just yet.”

At present, there is a sense of caution among those associated with the Yankees regarding any official confirmation. This cautious approach suggests that another trip to the injured list (IL) may be imminent, which is unfortunate for both the Yankees and Aaron Judge, who has been performing exceptionally well.

Nevertheless, considering Aaron Judge’s ability to continue playing after the catch, there is a strong likelihood that he may be fine and simply experiencing soreness. The upcoming tests will provide the necessary confirmation or denial of any significant injury.

There is a possibility that Aaron Judge’s situation could be similar to Anthony Rizzo‘s, where he misses a few games, including Sunday’s victory, but avoids being placed on the Injured List. Only time will reveal the outcome.

Dodgers to pad ballpark concrete

Following the incident involving Aaron Judge, Dodgers team president Stan Kasten has informed The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal that the organization intends to strengthen the fence and provide additional padding to the concrete step, preventing any potential injury similar to Aaron Judge’s.

Kasten acknowledged that his initial assumption was that Aaron Judge went through the door, but upon closer inspection, he realized that the door does not open in that direction.

Kasten explained that Aaron Judge broke through the area where the panels were joined, specifically the barrier between the connecting panels. He expressed his disbelief at the incident but reassured that they will reinforce that area and also add a strip of padding at the bottom for extra protection.

Boone also mentioned the idea of adding padding to the concrete surface as an additional safety measure. He acknowledged that while venues strive to prioritize safety, there might be room for improvement by adding padding to the concrete surface.

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