Aaron Judge is still not out of the woods yet regarding the fractured rib discovered during spring training, according to Yankees manager Aaron Boone.
The right fielder is “due for another CT scan, I believe, in a couple more weeks,’’ Boone said Tuesday on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM.
“This time down has allowed that rib to hopefully continue to heal. All signs are encouraging there and hopefully have him as part of all this, as well.”
Whatever “all this” is remains to be seen, as there is still no formal plan for Major League Baseball to return after the sport was shut down in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Judge was expected to be out at least through March when his fractured rib and punctured lung were discovered during spring training. Both injuries are believed to have been suffered on a diving play in right field in September.
The other injured Yankees who may have missed an extended part of the regular season had it started on time are doing well, Boone said.
In the outfield, Giancarlo Stanton has recovered from the strained calf that sidelined him during the spring and Boone believes “he should be good to go whenever we get ready to go back.”
Aaron Hicks, who underwent Tommy John surgery following last year’s playoffs, figures to be out until June or July, but Boone had encouraging news on the center fielder.
“He’s doing well,’’ Boone said of the switch hitter. “He’s already doing soft toss from both sides of the plate and throwing 90-plus feet. He’s trending in a really good direction.”
In the rotation, while the Yankees spent much of the spring trying to figure out who might take James Paxton’s place in the rotation as the left-hander recovered from February back surgery, now they may not need a replacement whenever the season gets underway.
Paxton has progressed well enough that he’s throwing simulated games.
Boone said Paxton had thrown “five or six bullpens” before advancing to his first sim game on Monday.
The original timeline following the February procedure slated Paxton for a mid-May return to the roster. The shutdown will go on far longer than that and Paxton should be able to get in whatever work he needs even in an abbreviated spring training — barring any setbacks.
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“His rehab has gone really, really well,’’ Boone said.
In the meantime, Boone said he continues to check in on his players and is confident the Yankees will be prepared for whatever this unusual season might have in store.
Boone said he wants the team to put the players in “the best position to hit the ground running” and he isn’t too preoccupied by the various plans that have been floated.
“As far as scouting and trying to speculate what plan may work, we haven’t put too much into that at all,’’ Boone said. “We’re kind of, as I like to say, staying in the athletic position for whatever plan comes our way and we’ll be in a position to handle it. I feel like it’s something as an organization we do really well. Obviously, it’s gonna be unique circumstances. There’s gonna be adversity along the way and we need to be prepared to handle it and be part of the recovery.’’