ATLANTA (AP) — New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge likely will avoid surgery on his ailing toe after the season, manager Aaron Boone said Tuesday.
Speaking before a game against the Atlanta Braves, Boone said Judge has been moving well since his return from injured list on July 28.
“I don’t think surgery is in the plans,” the manager said. “We’re not at the offseason yet, but he’s been doing pretty well. The fact that he’s been able to play good amount of games in the field is a testament to that.”
After serving as a designated hitter in an 11-3 loss to the Braves on Monday, Judge was starting in right field for game two of the series. It was the seventh time in 17 games since his return that the reigning AL MVP has been penciled in defensively.
“I think he’s done great,” Boone said. “He’s not 100%, but I feel like he’s moving around. That’s gotten better since the first day. That’s kind of steadily improved. Whether he gets all the way back to 100% this year or not, I’m not sure about that. But I do feel he’s able to move out there properly.”
Judge was sidelined for nearly two months after tearing a ligament in his right big toe June 3 when he crashed into the right-field fence while making a catch at Dodger Stadium. He also missed time in early in the season with a right hip strain.
In 65 games, Judge was hitting .284 with 22 homers and 45 RBIs for the struggling Yankees, who are last in the AL East.
A year ago, Judge hit 62 homers to break the AL record and help lead the Yankees to a division title. They were swept in the league championship series by the eventual World Series champion Astros.
This year, the playoffs are far out of reach for the injury plagued team. But even with all the struggles, Judge has stood out as a leader in his first year as the team captain, according to Boone.
“Obviously, it’s been a tough year for us on a lot of fronts,” Boone said. “His consistency about who he is is special. From the way he goes about his business, the pride he takes in being the captain of the team now, I do think his leadership has grown.”
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb