Home News Aaron Judge says he tore ligament in toe, return still unclear

Aaron Judge says he tore ligament in toe, return still unclear

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The news isn’t getting any better on Aaron Judge.

There’s still no timetable for his return from the injured list.

There’s still discomfort in the Yankees captain’s right big toe when he walks and he is still managing the pain.

There was some hope he would begin baseball activities on Sunday, but that’s no longer the case.

And Saturday afternoon, he revealed that the injury, which the Yankees had said was a contusion and ligament sprain, is actually a torn ligament in that right big toe.

“It feels better, but it’s not great,” Judge said before the Yankees hosted the AL West-leading Rangers at the Stadium. “If it was better, I would be out there. I wish I had a better answer for you. … I’m not giving you any timeline. There’s no need. I’ve just got to get better and then I’ll be out there.”

Judge suffered the injury while making a running catch and crashing into the outfield fence during a game at Dodgers Stadium on June 3.

Three weeks later, there isn’t any clarity on how long he will be out.

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees crashes through the outfield fence as he makes a catch for an out of J.D. Martinez #28 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 03, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Initially, the Yankees said he was day-to-day before they placed him on the 10-day IL on June 6.

He has received two platelet-rich plasma injections to reduce swelling around the injury, but those haven’t helped fixed the problem.

And now, it sounds more serious than the initial prognosis.

Judge said he feels discomfort when he does “everything.”

“It’s a different injury. I don’t think too many people in here have torn a ligament in their toe. If it was a quad, we’d have a better answer,” Judge said. “If it’s an oblique or hamstring, we have answers and a timeline for that. With how unique this injury is, and it being my back foot, which I hit off of, run off of, push off of, it’s in a tough spot.”

Asked if he has begun to wonder how much of the season he will miss, Judge thought for a few seconds and said: “You don’t want to think about it. I got to knock out the rehab stuff. I’ve had different injuries over the years, where it’s going to take a while. It’s not going to be perfect here in a couple of weeks. Once we can manage the pain, we’re going to be in a good spot.”

That’s ominous, considering manager Aaron Boone said on Tuesday there had been “a little bit of a breakthrough” with the injury.

Boone said he still expects Judge to return this year, but couldn’t guarantee it because “that’s an absolute.”

Aaron Judge stands in the dugout in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Tuesday, June 20, 2023
It’s still unclear when Judge will return to the field for the Yankees.

“I can’t say that about anyone,” the manager said. “The reality is he is just not yet at a level where he can play.”

Without Judge, the Yankees have struggled mightily on offense.

They entered Saturday having gone 6-10 without him and trailed the Rays by 10 ¹/₂ games in the AL East.

A number of key veterans, including Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Donaldson and Anthony Rizzo, have struggled to fill the cavernous void.

Judge was fantastic when healthy this season, posting a .291/.404/.674 slash line with 19 homers and 2.2 bWAR across 49 games.

“It’s tough. That’s always been my thing is I want to be out there with the guys, through the good times, through the bad times, I want to be in the trenches with them,” Judge said. “It’s tough sitting back watching. At times you want to speak up and say things, but it’s like, ‘Who’s that guy sitting on the bench telling us stuff?’ ”

Judge hopes to get back on the field at some point soon.

When that will be, however, remains uncertain.

Nothing that was said on Saturday made it seem imminent.

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