Baseball / MLB

Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge has broken rib, return to lineup uncertain

AP

Now the New York Yankees know what’s wrong with Aaron Judge. As to when he’ll be OK to play, no telling.

Judge has a broken rib and it’s uncertain whether he will need surgery, leaving doubt when he can return to the lineup.

Manager Aaron Boone said on Friday that he thought the star right fielder hurt himself making a diving catch late last season.

Judge will rest two weeks while recovering from the stress fracture to his first right rib. He hasn’t played in any spring training games while dealing with soreness in his right pectoral muscle and shoulder.

Judge underwent about a dozen tests, including and MRI plus CT and bone scans, to determine the source of his pain.

“It shows signs of healing so we’re going to give it the next couple and re-test to show how much healing is going on with that rib,” Boone said.

Removal of the bone is a possibility, depending on the healing process.

“I wouldn’t say that’s off the table, but you wouldn’t want to go do that right now especially if the bone is healing,” Boone said.

Since winning the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year award, Judge was limited to 112 games in 2018 because of a broken right wrist and to 102 games last year due to a strained left oblique.

The Yankees already were minus outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks. Stanton strained his right calf last month during defensive drills and will miss opening day on March 26. Hicks had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Oct. 31 and is not expected back until summer.

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