NEW YORK — Aaron Judge is feeling “a little better” following a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right thumb, according to manager Aaron Boone, who said the injured slugger is optimistic. Will start making real progress soon.
There is no timetable yet for Judge’s return to the bench. Judge injured his toe on June 3 after making a terrible catch in Los Angeles. He received a PRP injection on June 6 and then another PRP injection on June 15 to address the second ligament.
“What we’re seeing, I’m encouraged by my conversations with him,” Boone said Tuesday. “He’s slowly getting better and able to do a lot more things. I think this is the start of him making some real strides.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Judge is dealing with a “unique injury.” General partner Hal Steinbrenner recently compared it to turf toe, which is more common in football than baseball in general.
“At the end of the day, the most important thing we have to do is make sure he’s healed when we start using him,” Cashman said. “We don’t want this thing coming to us anytime soon because it’s not 100 percent ready to go.”
The Yanks have lost 8 of 12 games since Judge hit the bullpen fence at Dodger Stadium.
Cashman said the GM felt the need to caution against an optimistic timetable during the period when the Yankees gathered information from doctors and experts and then sent it to the judge: “It could be long.”
“We have to be very careful with this because he’s a real dedicated athlete,” Cashman said. “He wants to be out there fighting for his team and fighting for our fans. That’s where mistakes can happen. You have to protect the players from them. He wants to get out as soon as possible in practice, but he has to be smart and we have to be smart.
“So, the timeline, I don’t have a clue yet. I know he’s recovering, he’s making progress, and thus the second PRP injection. These are all encouraging signs, but we’re not in a position to speculate on a timeline yet.
Judge has accompanied the Yankees on recent road trips during which he has been receiving treatment, but has not participated in baseball activities.
“He’s able to do a lot more things on his toes from a balance standpoint and get off of that,” Boone said. “There’s a lot of swelling and stuff out there now, so I feel like he’s starting to turn the corner there.”
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