Yankees fans looking for good news about Aaron Judge’s oblique didn’t get any on Sunday. The team has no timetable for the superstar’s return to action.
The Yankees managed to slip past the Royals 7-6 on Sunday, but the news wasn’t all good for New York. The lack of a concrete update on Aaron Judge’s injured oblique can only be interpreted as bad news for the team’s immediate future.
Manager Aaron Boone told the media that his slugger has a “significant” oblique strain, but he couldn’t give any concrete answers on how long the injury will keep Judge out of action. Instead, the plan is for Yankees medical officials to give the outfielder a few weeks to heal before revisiting the issue.
For the time being, Boone will be forced to continue to utilize his makeshift starting outfield of Brett Gardner, Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier. There does appear to be help on the way. The Yankees aren’t prepared to name an exact return date for Giancarlo Stanton at this time, but the expectation is that he should return to the lineup sometime during the team’s West Coast road trip. His return to active duty will once again, give the Yankees a bona fide slugger in the middle of their batting order.
Playing any length of time without Judge still really damages the Yankees hopes of breaking their decade long World Series drought. He is the catalyst for Boone’s offense and one of his leaders in the locker room. Judge’s ability to throw out runners from right field also gives his team something else to bother opponents.
The organization’s first priority will be to make sure they give Judge enough time to recuperate to make sure this injury doesn’t significant impact his long-term career. The team really wants to win in 2019, but Judge is a player they trust to be a franchise cornerstone for years to come. He won’t return to the diamond until he’s 100 percent healthy. The question for the Yankees is just how long it will take for him to return to full health.