The Yankees' Cameron Maybin, left, and Gary Sanchez walk to...

The Yankees' Cameron Maybin, left, and Gary Sanchez walk to the dugout after Sanchez's two-run home run against the Astros during the third inning at Yankee Stadium on Friday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Aaron Hicks insists the inflammation in his right shoulder isn’t anything to be worried about. But until he returns to the lineup on a regular basis, it has to be considered at least somewhat of a worry.

Actually, Hicks got back on the field more quickly than anyone expected Friday night. He took over in centerfield in the top of the fourth inning, with Brett Gardner moving to leftfield and Cameron Maybin coming out of the lineup. Maybin was seen limping in the dugout after scoring on Gary Sanchez’s long home run in the bottom of the third. Later in the game, the Yankees said Maybin has a strained left calf. He will go on the injured list.

An MRI of Hicks’ shoulder taken Thursday showed inflammation but no structural damage, and he got a cortisone shot that day. “It kind of started hurting about a week and a half ago. I’ve been trying pretty much to play through it,” Hicks said Friday. “Just one of those things.”

He took full batting practice with his teammates before Friday night’s game and said he would be an available player if needed. Then he proved it.

“Not too concerned about it,” Aaron Boone said before the game. “He had pictures taken of it yesterday and it looks good. I thought there was a chance I might play him today and we just decided one more day [off]. The hope would be back in there tomorrow, but we’re treating him as an active player today.”

Since making his debut May 15, Hicks, who started the season on the injured list with a lower-back injury, is hitting .198 with a .299 on-base percentage in 27 games.

German improving

Boone said he expects Domingo German, who has been out since June 9 with a left hip flexor strain and who threw a bullpen session for the first time during his rehab Friday afternoon, to be back before the All-Star break.

German, through his translator, said he has not felt anything in the hip since “three or four days” after his last start before landing on the IL on June 7 in Cleveland.

“I think I’m progressing really well,” he said. “I’m getting close to pitching in a game.” He will need one minor-league rehab start, he said, before rejoining the rotation.

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