Juan Soto injury update: X-ray negative but no end to Yankees’ concerns

New York Yankees' Juan Soto (22) scores past Toronto Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 28, 2024, in Toronto.
Chris Young/ AP
Michael Bennington
Sunday June 30, 2024

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The Yankees faced another health scare with star outfielder Juan Soto, marking the second such incident this month. On Saturday afternoon, X-rays returned negative, but the slugger was dealing with inflammation in his right hand, which he had after sliding into home plate during Friday’s 16-5 win over the Blue Jays.

Manager Aaron Boone revealed this, including the clean imaging result on Juan Soto’s hand, a small consolation after a 9-3 loss to the Blue Jays.

“Concerning, I know he’s got some swelling in there and swinging didn’t go real well today,” manager Aaron Boone said at Rogers Centre after the Yankees defeat. “So hopefully it’s just that, it’s banging the hand and having some inflammation in there. Hopefully, we can get that out of there and it’s not too big a thing, but we’ll see.”

The Yankees scrapped Juan Soto from Saturday’s lineup against the Toronto Blue Jays after noticing a right-hand bruise.

Manager Aaron Boone voiced his worries about the swelling and Juan Soto’s difficulty in swinging the bat. He hoped the issue was simply inflammation from the impact and would subside quickly. The skipper stressed the team’s wish for a rapid recovery but acknowledged the uncertainty surrounding the injury situation.

Throughout Saturday, Juan Soto received treatment to reduce the swelling. While no immediate additional tests were planned, Boone mentioned that further imaging might be considered upon the team’s return to New York on Monday if his discomfort persisted.

The Yankees’ careful handling of the situation highlights Juan Soto’s significance to the team and their dedication to ensuring his full recovery before he returns to play.

Good news for Juan Soto but concerns for Yankees

Juan Soto has wrapping on his hand

Boone mentioned the possibility of additional tests when the team returns to New York on Sunday night, depending on Juan Soto’s progress over the weekend as he continues treatment. This situation mirrors an earlier episode in June when the slugger’s forearm pain, diagnosed as inflammation, led to a brief three-game absence.

The latest inflammation Juan Soto had was due to his sliding into home plate on Friday. The incident happened in the fourth inning when Juan Soto, trying to avoid a tag from Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen, twisted his body and landed hard on his right hand.

Despite the injury, Juan Soto had a strong finish to Friday’s game, hitting a pivotal three-run homer in the sixth inning, contributing to a 16-5 victory over the Blue Jays. However, he woke up Saturday with swelling and struggled to swing, leading to his last-minute removal from the lineup.

Boone explained that Juan Soto’s pregame swings were insufficient, necessitating his absence from the game. The manager expressed hope for improvement after intensive treatment, with the team closely monitoring his status for Sunday’s game.

Juan Soto is expected to miss Sunday’s series finale but may return for Tuesday’s game at Yankee Stadium. Initial assessments suggest the injury is not severe, providing some reassurance for the team.

Yankees catcher Austin Wells highlighted Juan Soto’s importance to the team’s success, expressing relief at the positive health update. The backstop emphasized that the slugger’s presence in the lineup is vital for the team’s performance throughout the season.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 02: Juan Soto #22 of the. New York Yankees rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the game between the New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on Sunday, June 2, 2024 in San Francisco, California.

Since returning from his three-game absence, Juan Soto has batted .231 with a .897 OPS and three home runs over 17 games. Despite a recent dip in performance, he showcased his value in Friday’s game with a pivotal three-run homer off Yusei Kikuchi.

This latest health scare puts the Yankees in a bind at a critical time when they are struggling to rebound.

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