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‘Beat up’ Yankees slugger Aaron Judge again battling injury setback

Aaron Judge is yet again battling early-season injury issues, a troublesomely recurring narrative for the New York Yankees slugger over the past several seasons.

Judge was pulled from Tuesday’s 5-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles in the ninth inning with what Yankees manager Aaron Boone characterized as “lower body stuff.” However, the skipper insisted he isn’t “overly concerned” about the uncertain situation.

“He’s been pretty sore the last couple of days,” Boone told reporters, per NJ.com. “Been wanting to get him a day here. Just wanted to get him off his feet there at the end, probably get him one of these next two days, a full day. But he’s doing all right.”

It’s currently unclear exactly when Judge first started to experience the general soreness. As Boone alluded to in his comments, though, the plan is to give a “beat-up” Judge either Wednesday or Thursday off to rest and recover.

“I’m going to get him a day here, try and just stay in front of anything that comes up,” Boone said. “Not overly concerned but just want to make sure through this stretch obviously, we knew this 13 games with the travel and everything was coming, and still try to build these guys up a little bit.”

With Judge expected to sit out at least one game as the Yankees’ series with the Orioles wraps up, this week will mark already the second time early on this season that the outfielder will miss time. Judge, batting .263 with five homers and 10 RBI in 75 at-bats this season, sat out three games earlier this month with what Boone called “general soreness” at the time.

Injuries of course have long been an issue for Judge. Various setbacks limited Judge to appearing in 112 games in 2018 and only 102 in 2019 following an impressive debut in 2017 when he led the American League in home runs, won the AL Rookie of the Year award and came in second in AL MVP voting.

In 2020, a cracked rib and a punctured lung short-circuited his spring training, and Judge ended up playing in only 32 regular-season games in MLB’s truncated 60-game schedule due to a Grade 1 right calf strain.

Judge alluded to shaking things up in his offseason routine in November, saying his goal was to figure out how to finally put his chronic injury woes behind him. The plan came to fruition over the winter with Judge “dramatically” altering his offseason regimen.

Regardless of how things play out in the coming days and despite the continued concern, not to mention disappointment, with Judge’s ongoing injury woes, expect the Yankees to play it safe with the superstar. The hope for the Yankees has to be that this latest setback is not a frustrating harbinger of things to come this season.