Bad news for Yankees fans. Slugger Aaron Judge isn’t any closer to returning to the lineup and the team will be coming out of the All-Star break without their $360M man. His lingering toe injury is no better than it was, says Judge, before he began hitting off a tee.  The Fourth Of July brought optimism as Judge was finally getting some Tee work in.

According to Yarbarker, New York Yankees hitting coach Dillon Lawson shared a promising update regarding Judge’s recovery.

“His swing looks great,” Lawson said about Judge hitting off a tee for the first time since he suffered a torn ligament in his big right toe on June 3, per Dan Martin of the New York Post. “It looks like he’s not missing anything. He’s able to turn on his back [right] foot and it doesn’t look like it’s bothering him at all.” 

However, Judge appeared on NBC’s “Today” show on Monday and couldn’t provide a timeline for when he may return. Martin noted that “the best-case scenario” is that the reigning American League Most Valuable Player will eventually be back in the lineup during the second half of the season that begins for the Yankees on July 14, as the 31-year-old cannot yet run full speed.”



Aaron Judge Isn’t Sure His Teo Will Ever Feel Normal 


“It doesn’t feel great,” Judge said about the toe ahead of the Tuesday afternoon’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, per Dan Martin of the New York Post. “I don’t think it will ever feel normal. I can move around pretty well, but any injury, [it can bother you for] a year or two or three years. You never know what it’s gonna feel like.”

According to reports, Judge wants to avoid surgery until at least the offseason so that he can play again this season and help the Yankees chase that elusive World Series. That would be the best-case scenario for both parties because the AL East division will be a dogfight in the second half and if Judge can go, even with the slightest risk of reinjuring the toe, then he should get out there and play.

The reigning American League Most Valuable Player last graced the diamond for the Yankees when he suffered a torn ligament in his big right toe in a win on June 3 that improved the club to 35-25. The team’s been flirting with .500 since his injury. They stand 13-13 following a 6-3 loss to Baltimore on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, trailing the first-place Tampa Bay Rays by 7.5 games in the AL East standings.


Judge acknowledged he hasn’t yet resumed running as part of his recovery.

“I’ve got to be able to run,” he explained. “If I can run, then I can play. But me running at 10 percent isn’t helping anybody.”

There remains no timeline for when Judge may return, but it’s clear he’ll stay sidelined through the All-Star break that begins for the Yankees after this coming Sunday’s game against the Chicago Cubs. New York opens the second half of the season at the Colorado Rockies on July 14.

“I’m doing anything I can to speed the process up,” Judge insisted.

Across 49 games this season, Judge is batting .291 with 19 home runs and 40 RBIs. Without his presence in the lineup and on the field, expect the Yankees to fall deeper into the bottom half of the division as the dog days of summer take its toll.

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