NEW YORK – Two days after the New York Yankees said Aaron Judge possibly could start baseball activities this weekend, the slugger said he has a torn ligament in his right big toe and is not quite ready.
Judge was hurt June 3 when he crashed into the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium while making a catch on J.D. Martinez. The injury, unusual for a baseball player, makes it hard for Judge to predict his progress.
“I don’t think too many people have torn a ligament in their toe,” Judge said before Saturday's game against Texas. “If it was a quad we’d have a better answer. If it’s an oblique or hamstring we got timelines for that. With how unique this injury is and it being my back foot which I push off of and run off of, it’s a tough spot.”
Judge did rehab work in a pool on Wednesday and was hoping to progress to throwing and light hitting. Manager Aaron Boone had said the slugger might begin those activities by the end of the weekend.
“It’s something I mentioned to the training staff: I want to test it out a little bit,” Judge said. “Maybe play catch, maybe take some dry swings. I just kind of see where it’s at.
“I really wouldn’t say it’s me running on the field and or doing a lot of baseball activity. It’s more me being passive saying, `We’ve done a lot of stuff in here. We’re making some great progress. Let’s test with what I’m going to be actually doing on the field.'”
The Yankees have not given any indication when Judge could return.
“I'm not giving you any timeline,” Judge said. “There's no need. I've just got to get better and then I'll be out there.”
Judge set an American League record with 62 home runs last year. He is hitting .291 with 19 homers and 40 RBIs in the first season of a $360 million, nine-year contract he agreed to during the offseason.
New York entered 10-16 this season with Judge on the injured list and 6-10 since the AL MVP was injured. New York was 31-19 with Judge, who also missed 10 games earlier this season with a right hip strain.
“He’s out right now,” Boone said. “So just trying to, obviously, get him well and back as soon as possible, but whether we had a defined day where he’d be back in, the reality is we’re without him right now and we got to find a way to get it done."