Aaron Judge said he can hold a bat, but he still can’t swing one.
“No, I’d be out there if I was [able to swing],’’ Judge said Thursday before the Yankees' 3-1 loss to the Rays at the Stadium.
And there is no specific timetable for when that will occur, much less a date for his return from a chip fracture of the ulnar styloid bone in his right wrist.
The Yankees' original estimate was for Judge to miss no more than three weeks after the injury occurred on July 26. In range of motion exercises, Judge says he still feels pain “at the end range.”
Is Judge upset his recovery is taking longer than expected? “I’m not frustrated with the pace, I'm frustrated being out,’’ Judge said. “But the pace, you never know. I got a broken bone, it's still fractured, you know, so got to give it time to heal. Just gotta make sure I'm 100 percent before I head back out there because I don’t want to have a setback.’’
Judge said he shared the team’s optimism that he would have been back in the lineup by now. "I was hoping, yeah," he said. "I got to listen to the doctors, they’re the ones making the big bucks, so I just listen to them and try to do what I can to get back to where I need to be.’’
On Wednesday, general manager Brian Cashman revealed that Judge had recently received a cortisone shot. "It's something they said I might have to do at some point,’’ Judge said. “We didn't want to rush straight to doing the shot. We wanted to see how it would heal up and how everything would feel without it. We just kind of wanted to do the cortisone shot, just for kind of getting me over the hump.’’
Judge was hitting .285 with 26 home runs and 61 runs batted in before the injury. He has been on the field before games, but mostly to run. "Hopefully, before heading to Miami [next Monday], [I'll] start ramping things up,’’ Judge said. “I don't know if that's swinging or throwing or what's going on with that. But It's feeling good, so hopefully just starting to kind of go in that direction.’’