Yankees GM Cashman Says Slugger Is Close, Expects Him To Take Part In Rehab Games Before Minor League Season Ends In Early September

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees are putting on a pretty brave face right now.

When superstar outfielder Aaron Judge injured his right wrist on July 26, the Bombers estimated that it would take around three weeks before he’d really be able to swing a bat. Well, Thursday marks three weeks since he was drilled by Kansas City’s Jake Junis and not much has changed. The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year has done some baserunning and light outfield work, but has yet to pick up the lumber.

The Yankees continue to say he’s close, but the concern over the possibility of the injury being a bigger deal than anyone thought is there.

“I’ve certainly peeled the onion on that question, and rightfully so, not just because of who he is and what he means to the club,” general manager Brian Cashman, said on WFAN on Wednesday.

“I doubt he hits the ground running. I’m sure at times with a check swing here or there, he might have a little bit of an issue to deal with, back off and give him a little more time,” he added. “But we’re going to be approaching enough of a time frame where he’ll be back on track health-wise well in time for the meaningful games in the future.”

gettyimages 10057835021 Time For Real Concern? Judges Recovery Reaches Estimated 3 Weeks And He Still Isnt Swinging A Bat

Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is looked at after he was hit by a pitch in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium on July 26, 2018. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Cashman also said he expects Judge to be able to take part in rehab games before the minor league season ends in early September.

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Judge, who is hitting .285 with 26 home runs and 61 RBIs, and has a .398 on-base percentage this season, described the pain and what he can and cannot do to the New York Post on Wednesday.

“I haven’t really done any motions of trying to extend it out because that’s the motion that gets me — when I full extend like that, it kind of bothers my wrist,” Judge said. “Just a sharp pain whenever I flex the wrist like that.”

It’s looking more and more like a September pennant race isn’t going to happen. The Yankees (75-45) entered Thursday’s finale of their series with visiting Tampa Bay 10 games behind first-place Boston in the AL East. They do, however, hold the top spot in the wild card race, leading Oakland by 3 1/2 games and Seattle by six. So, the urgency to get Judge back in the lineup may not be as pressing as previously thought.

However, the Yankees have won just 10 of the 19 games Judge has missed since late July.

“It’s been tough sitting on the sidelines, but I’ve been just trying to find ways I can help out the team: cheering guys on, helping them out with certain things, just talking to guys,” Judge said. “Do what I can from the sideline to help out, that’s all I can really do right now.”