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Aaron Judge to sit out Wednesday's Yankees game vs. Orioles because of soreness on left side

Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge looks for his

Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge looks for his pitch against the Orioles during the first inning of an MLB game at Yankee Stadium on Monday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Aaron Judge was left out of the lineup Wednesday after reporting soreness on his left side during the Orioles game Tuesday and thereafter, manager Aaron Boone said.

Judge, who went 3-for-5 with four RBIs Tuesday, isn’t slated to undergo any tests, and the Yankees are hopeful his injury isn’t serious. Boone also believes it isn’t an oblique injury (Judge missed two months with a left oblique strain in 2019).

With the day off Thursday and then a trip to Tampa to play the Rays, the Yankees are "just trying to stay ahead of it," Boone said. "We don’t want to push through anything right now…I think [the injury has] been gradual and yesterday, during the game, he obviously had great results but I think he was just a little sore during the game and then sore after, so with the off day, we just didn’t want to take any chances."

Judge is 8-for-22 with two homers and five RBIs. Boone, who attributed the soreness to "wear and tear," said Judge likely aggravated his side from the all the swings he was taking, especially on the day he was slotted into the DH.

 

The Yankees will continue to be careful when handling Judge, especially considering how he’s struggled to stay healthy for the majority of his career.

"We’re keenly mindful of all that stuff – of making sure we’re doing everything possible from a workout standpoint, getting ready for games, how we prepare, the amount of reps, documenting that kind of thing," Boone said. "So in all things, we’re trying [to] stay out in front of it the best we can."

Yanks near vaccine threshold

Boone said the Yankees are close to having 85% vaccination of Tier 1 personnel – players, coaches and others who have dugout access – meaning they could soon loosen up on some of their COVID-19 restrictions. "I’m very optimistic that we’re going to get to that point very soon," said Boone, who was vaccinated during spring training. "It’s just a matter of when we’re going to get that opportunity, which I know is coming and I’m confident we’re going to be well past that 85%."

Wilson to return

The Yankees are carrying 25 players after optioning Michael King, but Boone said that will change Friday, when they’re set to welcome lefty Justin Wilson, who was on the IL with shoulder tightness. Wilson, a former Met, signed a $2.85 million deal this season, with a $2.3 million player option or $7.15 million club option for 2022.

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