The New York Yankees held outfielder Aaron Judge out of their intrasquad game for the second straight day on Sunday as he deals with neck stiffness.
He was scratched on Saturday night, and on Sunday, manager Aaron Boone said he won’t rush the slugger back.
“He’s in getting treatment now,” Boone told reporters. “Getting a little more work. He is still a little stiff and just something that obviously we don’t want to push at this point.
“I feel like he’s been able to get a lot of work in and a lot of at-bats to this point. So I just thought it was better than to not push it today, but he is doing a little bit better today but still pretty stiff in there.”
Judge sat out spring training, before it was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic, with shoulder pain that ultimately was found to stem from a fractured rib. During the break, he worked out and rehabbed at the Yankees’ facility in Tampa, Fla.
General manager Brian Cashman said in May that he expected Judge would be able to play in July, if the season were to start.
“Ultimately, the broken rib that Aaron Judge suffered, it’s in an area that the blood flow to that region is more difficult,” Cashman said of the injury that apparently happened during an attempted catch Sept. 18 against the Los Angeles Angels at Yankee Stadium. “Blood flow is a significant part of the healing, so that’s why the time frame is longer. When it happened, I always felt that we wouldn’t see Judge more likely until the summertime.
“But Aaron Judge, like most superstar athletes, [feel as if] they’re invincible and like they’ll be back sooner than later.”
Judge, 28, won the American League Rookie of the Year and finished second in MVP voting in 2017 but has been plagued by injuries since. A broken wrist cost him 50 games in 2018, and last season, he missed 60 games, largely because of an oblique strain.
In three-plus seasons in pinstripes, Judge has a .273 batting average. He’s hit 110 home runs — 52 of them in 2017 — and has 246 RBIs.