Injury relapse cuts LeMahieu rehab short, leaves Yankees fans exasperated

Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu exits his first rehab with Double-A Somerset after one at-bat as his foot injury flares up on April 23, 2024.
Michael Bennington
Wednesday April 24, 2024

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New York Yankees veteran third baseman DJ LeMahieu‘s road to recovery hit a snag on Tuesday night during a rehab appearance with Double-A Somerset. His return was short-lived, lasting only one at-bat, as he was forced to exit the game due to right foot soreness, according to the team.

LeMahieu struck out in his lone plate appearance and participated in one inning defensively before being sidelined. He is scheduled to return to New York on Wednesday for a more thorough evaluation by the Yankees’ team doctor. Following the Yankees’ 4-3 victory, manager Aaron Boone offered limited details about the player’s condition, simply stating that he left the game due to discomfort.

This setback is a cause for concern, considering LeMahieu hasn’t played in a game since March 16th. On that date, he suffered a non-displaced fracture in his right foot after fouling a ball off it.

Teammate Anthony Rizzo acknowledged the dedication LeMahieu shows to both the team and the sport, while also recognizing the hurdles he’s currently facing. Rizzo plans to reach out to him via text message to offer support and inquire about his well-being. In light of this latest setback, Rizzo emphasized the importance of prioritizing LeMahieu’s recovery, ensuring his health and overall well-being remain the top priority.


DJ LeMahieu’s return to the field has continued to encounter hurdles. The 35-year-old Yankees third baseman, initially slated to begin his rehab assignment last Friday, was held back after an MRI on Thursday prompted doctors to recommend additional healing time.

On Tuesday afternoon, manager Aaron Boone confirmed that LeMahieu hadn’t received a follow-up MRI on Monday but was cleared to play in games starting that same day. However, his planned four-game rehab stint this week, with a potential return to the Yankees next week in Baltimore, is now uncertain due to the need for further testing scheduled for Wednesday.

Before this setback, LeMahieu had been steadily increasing his workload. He participated in fielding ground balls at third base, took batting practice on the field, and progressed through various running drills, including cutting exercises.

The Yankees remain committed to a cautious approach with LeMahieu’s return. Their primary focus is on ensuring his long-term health. They are adamant about avoiding a rushed comeback that could aggravate residual issues, especially considering the right foot injury that sidelined him for the latter part of the 2022 season and the beginning of 2023.

LeMahieu’s quick rehab exit fuels fan angst

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LeMahieu’s prolonged absence has undoubtedly tested the Yankees’ depth, but they’ve managed to maintain their lead in the AL East thus far. Oswaldo Cabrera has been thrust into more playing time at third base than initially planned, while Aaron Boone struggles to provide adequate rest for regulars like Gleyber Torres and Anthony Rizzo without LeMahieu’s versatility.

The organization hopes this setback is only temporary, as a long-term absence could force general manager Brian Cashman to acquire additional infield reinforcements. Jahmai Jones currently serves as a stop-gap depth piece, but he’s merely a short-term solution for Boone’s lineup.

A healthy LeMahieu is crucial for the Yankees to reach their full potential, but his return to the Bronx doesn’t seem imminent. Until then, Boone must continue juggling various options to keep the team on track, as they cope with the absence of their invaluable utility man.

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