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J.A. Happ virus-free and should get back in rotation

Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ delivers against the

Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ delivers against the Royals at Yankee Stadium on July 29. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

CHICAGO — J.A. Happ’s illness is behind him.

The lefthander, who missed his last scheduled start because of a surprising case of hand, foot and mouth disease, should be able to take his next turn in the rotation Thursday against the Rangers.

“He’s out of the woods virus-wise, not contagious,” Aaron Boone said Monday before the Yankees started a three-game series against the White Sox.

“He’ll be eligible to come off [the disabled list] Thursday and the idea will be, if everything goes well the next couple days, he’d be in line to start for us.”

Happ, acquired from the Blue Jays just before the trade deadline, won his first start in pinstripes on July 29 against the Royals, allowing one run in six innings. But he went on the DL soon after and was replaced in the rotation last Saturday at Fenway Park by Chance Adams, who allowed three runs in five innings in his big-league debut.

Just a coincidence

Neil Walker started at third base Monday night, but Boone said that had nothing to do with the two errors committed by Miguel Andujar in Sunday night’s crushing 10-inning loss to the Red Sox, including a bad throw with two outs in the ninth that allowed the tying run to score.

“That’s not why he’s not in there today,” Boone said of Andujar, who served as the designated hitter and batted seventh. “I had planned on starting Walker the first game of this series.”

After mostly performing well in the field in his rookie season, Andujar has slipped a bit in recent weeks, particularly with some of his throws.

“Miguel I feel like is equipped to deal with the successes and failures that you’ll inevitably have up here, so I don’t worry about putting him back out there,” Boone said. “I think he’s made a lot of strides this year defensively. I think he’s surpassed the expectations of what we had going into the season. I think he’s played an acceptable third base.”

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