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Gary Sanchez practices, but his return this season is not certain

Gary Sanchez of the Yankees looks on from

Gary Sanchez of the Yankees looks on from the dugout during the third inning against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on Friday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

TAMPA, Fla. – Though Gary Sanchez said Monday he’s currently pain-free, the catcher still took the cautious route in making any guarantees for his return this season.  

“Everything I have done has gone well,” Sanchez said early Monday afternoon after working out at the Yankees minor league complex. “There have been no problems at all. We just have to wait to see how things go in the next couple of days.”

Sanchez, out since Sept. 12 with a left groin strain, went through a full workout Monday – running the bases, taking batting practice both in the cage and on the field and doing defensive drills.

The latter is significant because getting in his squat behind the plate is when Sanchez felt the discomfort most prominently in the groin.

“I feel good,” Sanchez said of what, if anything, he feels when squatting.

Asked if, in his mind, he’ll definitely be ready for the postseason, Sanchez said: “Well, I feel good right now. We must continue with the rehab process.”

Sanchez is hitting .233 in 104 games this season but with 34 homers and 40 walks, contributing to a more than respectable .849 OPS. He’ll be with the Yankees, who start a two-game series against the Rays at Tropicana Field Tuesday night, the next couple of days continuing his rehab.

“Right now, with everything I've done, I feel better,” Sanchez said. “Hopefully, in the next few days, with all I have to do and after working with the trainers, I can feel the way I feel now.”

Encarnacion about ready

Edwin Encarnacion, out since Sept. 12 with a left internal oblique strain, worked out and received treatment at the minor league complex Monday and said afterward he expected to return “probably Wednesday” against the Rays. If not then, the 36-year-old’s return is all but certain to come in Arlington, Texas this weekend against the Rangers.  

“I feel good,” said Encarnacion, who has hit 34 homers (13 with the Yankees) this season. “Feeling no pain.”

Encarnacion said his Monday workout consisted of running, playing catch and hitting in the cage.

Extra bases

Luis Severino, who struck out nine and allowed three hits over five scoreless innings Sunday, and Jordan Montgomery were at the minor league complex Monday morning as well…David Hale and righty pitching prospect Michael King, added to the roster, threw sim games….Aaron Hicks, sidelined since Aug. 4 with a flexor strain in his right elbow and essentially declared out for the rest of the year Sunday by Aaron Boone, played catch Monday.

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