Yankees' Luke Voit celebrates hitting a three-run home run during...

Yankees' Luke Voit celebrates hitting a three-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. Credit: AP/Adam Hunger

Aaron Boone received a text message on Thursday that included video of Luke Voit sprinting. He had to laugh.

"That's funny, right?" Boone said. "Video of Luke Voit sprinting?"

It’s fair to say the Yankees aren’t salivating at the thought of Voit returning to their lineup after knee surgery so he can motor around the basepaths. They’d be happier if he trots.

The Yankees want the 2020 MLB home run leader back ASAP so he can inject some life into their batting order and clubhouse.

That return seems to be about 10 days away, at best.

Voit, speaking on Friday before the Yankees opened a nine-game homestand against the Tigers, said he is anxious to get the live-game portion of his rehab going once the minor-league season starts on Tuesday.

"I can’t wait," Voit said. "I’m dying."

Boone said Voit is going to play for the Double-A Somerset Patriots. Voit had four at-bats in an intrasquad game at the alternate site in Moosic, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, but there’s nothing like live at-bats in a real game, even if it’s in Double-A.

"I'm not sure on how many games [Voit will need]," Boone said. "Just based on the buildup and, obviously, getting up to nine innings and getting back-to-back . . . Those will be the things that are the most time-consuming . . .

"I got a text with a video of him sprinting at Scranton and it did look really good. I know he feels great. I think the silver lining in all this is I think he's really glad he went through with [surgery] because I think how good he's feeling right now. I think he's scheduled to go out Tuesday and play in Somerset and hopefully all goes smooth and maybe he's in a position to join us on the road trip."

The Yankees need the help. They went into the last day of April tied with Baltimore for last place in the AL East at 11-14 after a 5-3 road trip that included a 10-inning loss to the Orioles on Thursday.

Aaron Judge returned to the lineup on Friday after not starting for two games with mysterious lower-body soreness that the Yankees refuse to be specific about.

Asked before the game about the Yankees' first month, Boone said: "Not where we need to be, certainly. I do feel like we're getting there. Any time you go on the road and come back with a winning road trip, that's a good thing. There's also that frustration because you know you could have [had] a really great trip . . I feel like there's definitely some wins we've left on the table.

"Obviously, we struggled early the first couple of weeks, certainly, to find that consistency offensively, which I feel like over the last week or so is starting to tick up and guys are starting to have more consistent, better at-bats.

"I really like where our pitching is. I think our starters are starting to really round into form. Obviously, Gerrit [Cole] has been terrific at the top of the rotation. The bullpen — some guys emerging or even going to another level and establishing a more impactful roll down there — has been a good thing.

"I feel like the defense is starting to improve over the last couple of weeks. That was a little bit shaky out of the gate. We've made some uncharacteristic baserunning mistakes that we’ve got to improve on.

"So I sit here in the same position I was, I guess, when we started the season — I know we're going to be really good. And we're not close to where we need to be yet, but I feel like we're moving in that direction."

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