April 21, 2024

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Aaron Judge is dealing with an abdominal injury before 2024 Opening Day

Aaron Judge is dealing with an abdominal injury before 2024 Opening Day

TAMPA, Fla. – Aaron Judge underwent an MRI on Monday after reporting discomfort in his abdominal area and is expected to resume swinging the bat later this week, with the Yankees outfielder saying his goal is to be ready for Opening Day.

“We ran the tests, and everything came back fine,” the judge said. “That's what I told them. I was a bit upset and needed a few days. Hopefully we'll be back there soon.”

The judge said the discomfort was in the middle of his abs – indicating he was not oblique – and that he felt it most while following his swing. The judge believes it stems from the work he was doing while on vacation.

“I think from the swing from November until now, every day, it's been causing some wear and tear,” Judge said. “Especially coming back after A [right big] A toe injury is when your mechanics are a little off and you're just working on a few things.

“I think that's just part of being an everyday baseball player. I'd rather take a few days now, when these games don't matter, than miss some games in April or May.”

On Monday, Yankees manager Aaron Boone described Judge as “beaten up in the middle of the spring,” adding that he plans to play Judge on Wednesday against the Red Sox.

This probably won't happen. Although Judge was included in Tuesday's batting practice group at George M. Steinbrenner Stadium, Judge skipped that, despite holding outside drills.

Speaking to reporters in Dunedin, Boone said Judge was now “more likely” to return to the lineup over the weekend.

“nothing [changed] Other than saying, 'Why are we in such a rush to get there in the middle of the week if we're not fully prepared?'” Boone said. “I understand this is Aaron Judge, but I don't expect there to be a problem.”

Judge exited Sunday's 9-8 Grapefruit League win over the Braves after two strikeouts. Both Boone and Judge said the early exit was preplanned, a position the judge maintained Tuesday.

“No, we were scheduled to do two [at-bats]“It kind of worked out,” Judge said. “It's something I felt like for a week, just a little thing. I was like, 'You know what? Instead of going through it, we've got some time. Let's take some time and make sure we get it right.'

Judge played in six games in the Grapefruit League this spring, collecting two hits in 14 at-bats (.143), with a double, one RBI, two walks, and three runs scored. Judge said he would like to have about 30 clubs before Opening Day, and that he will resume swinging the club “probably later this week.”

“There is no real need to push this now,” the judge said.

It's been a turbulent week for the Yankees injury-wise. Ace right-hander Gerrit Cole underwent an MRI on his elbow on Monday; The team has not announced results or a timeline for Cole's return, although his Opening Day start appears to be in jeopardy.