TAMPA, Fla. — Aaron Judge said that a CT scan taken Friday showed “slight improvement” in the stress fracture of his first right rib, and the Yankees slugger expects to have his progress re-evaluated in another two weeks.
Judge also revealed that a previously unreported pneumothorax issue has been resolved. The lung issue can occur as a result of a blunt or penetrating chest injury, such as a diving catch in the outfield.
“The pneumothorax came back completely gone, which is a good thing — I can fly if I need to go home,” Judge said. “The bone is still about the same. Slight improvement, but in two weeks they can’t really tell much of anything. The bone is healing the way it should be.”
Since being diagnosed with the stress fracture March 3, Judge has continued to receive treatment and perform light workouts at the George M. Steinbrenner Field complex.
If his next CT scan shows continued healing, the Yankees could clear Judge to resume taking batting practice and playing catch. He has been doing some defensive work in recent days, but is not cleared to throw.
“He looks great,” said Yankees infielder Tyler Wade. “His rehab, as far as I know, it’s been good. You know how he is, he doesn’t say much. It’s kind of a blessing, with all of this other stuff going on, we’ll get everybody back healthy.”
The Yankees believe that Judge’s injury dates to an attempted catch in right field against the Angels last September. He missed one game at the time, receiving cortisone injections that allowed Judge to play through the end of the regular season and the playoffs.
Earlier this month, manager Aaron Boone said that surgery for Judge to have the rib removed is not off the table, but Boone has more recently voiced optimism that the Yanks will have Judge, left-hander James Paxton and outfielder/DH Giancarlo Stanton all healthy for the beginning of the regular season.
“That’s the silver lining in all of this, having the ability to not feel rushed trying to get back for a certain date,” Judge said. “We don’t really have a date right now. I’m just trying to let it heal. Not trying to rush it.”
Judge said that he plans to remain in Tampa for the foreseeable future.
“The great thing is, they’ve still got this open so we can come here and do some baseball activities and stay ready,” Judge said. “I kind of feel like we’re still in baseball mode. It’s helped me out — I’ve got some stuff to do, put some stuff on the walls, cleaning. After I get all the stuff done in my apartment, I think I’m going to be going crazy a little bit.”