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Aaron Judge ‘ready’ after first HR during rehab assignment

Aaron Judge has been scuttling a bit with the New York Yankees’ Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre ball club, but the slugger emerged from some minor struggles with a home run on Tuesday night.

Even more encouraging for the Yankees is how Judge declared himself “ready” to return to the big leagues after his first round-tripper of his rehab assignment.

Judge, in his fourth rehab game, delivered a powerful solo shot to right field in the RailRiders’ 8-4 win, adding two walks with one strikeout.

In his previous three rehab outings, Judge had gone 1-for-12 with six strikeouts, but Tuesday’s round-tripper seems to have given him confidence that’s he’s good to go.

“I’ve been ready,” Judge told reporters after the game, via the New York Post. “It’s just about getting the reps in and making sure this thing stays healthy and no issues. And there hasn’t been any issues, so ready to go. But those guys are rolling up there, so I don’t know if I can crack that lineup.”

As Judge jokingly notes, the Yankees will be confronted with a roster logjam when the slugger returns, but that’s a minor inconvenience given the impact Judge will have on an already-loaded lineup.

Judge has been sidelined since suffering an injury on April 20 that was later diagnosed as a strained left oblique, and the outfielder is expected to return to the big-league club sometime next week.