Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Yankees looks on after a...

Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Yankees looks on after a game against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, April 13, 2019, in the Bronx.  Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Yankees' game of groans continues, but at least there seems to be a bit of optimism about Giancarlo Stanton and Dellin Betances.

 Stanton, who went on the injured list April 1 with a left biceps strain, took some swings Friday, which followed a similar regimen from Wednesday in Houston. He said Friday’s efforts off tosses and a tee didn’t include “100 percent swings” but that they were “good progress swings.” He still felt something, though.

Stanton played through a hamstring injury for a stretch of last season and appeared in 158 games. But he couldn’t play through this injury.

“We had some of this last year,” Stanton said of the team’s injury problems. “I really enjoyed the grind of trying to stay out there during those hard times. But now I’m on the opposite side of that. So I’ve got to support and do my best to get back as soon as possible.”  

He said he thinks he’s “on track” but wouldn’t guess at a timetable for his return.

Will he need to eventually play at least one rehab game?

“That just depends on how long it’s going to take me to get full swings in there,” Stanton said. “At this point still, I wouldn’t need one. But it just depends on how far out I am. If I’m three, four weeks out of the game, then I probably should.”   

Betances, who received a cortisone injection Saturday for a  bone spur in the back of his shoulder,  also has no firm return date but is relieved that he has no major damage.

“The good thing is that structurally there's nothing wrong,’’ he said, “ so that’s good news. I'm obviously frustrated. I'm a competitor and I look to be with the team. When you're not out there on the field, you kinda feel a little, what's the right word, hopeless a little bit...I know with this shot that in three weeks, with rest, I think -- I don't think, I know -- everything’s going to be right. I'm  excited to help the team out to finish the season.’’

Betances added that while he won't “pick up a ball for three weeks’’ and is about six or seven weeks away from returning, he’s pleased that he will not be out for an extended period. “Any time you go in for an MRI and do extra tests, you just never know what’s going to happen. Once I got the news, I was definitely relieved.’’

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