CHICAGO (CBSNewYork)Gary Sanchez is back.

The Yankees activated their star catcher from the disabled list on Friday, just before the Bombers open a three-game series against the defending champion Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Sanchez is in the lineup and is batting third.

Sanchez had been out since suffering a Grade 1 strain of the brachialis muscle in his right arm during an at-bat April 8 at Baltimore.

To clear room on the roster, the Yankees optioned catcher Kyle Higashioka to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 27-year-old made his major league debut last month, but was 0-for-18 at the plate over nine games.

Gary Sanchez homers

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez celebrates his sixth-inning home run against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 10, 2016 in the Bronx. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Sanchez enjoyed a historic start to his big-league career last summer, hitting .299 with 20 homers and 42 RBIs in 53 games. He became the fastest player ever to hit 20 career home runs, doing it in 50 games.

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Before his injury last month, Sanchez was off to a slow start, hitting .150 with one homer and two RBIs. In three rehab starts with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he was 5-for-13 (.385) with one homer and three RBIs.

The Yankee have managed to win without their young star, going 17-9 and leading the American League East.