Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson returns to the dugout after...

Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson returns to the dugout after flying out against the White Sox during the fourth inning in Game 1 of an MLB doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Josh Donaldson’s return to the Yankees will have to wait. 

The Yankees activated the third baseman off the COVID-19 injured list on Friday and immediately placed him on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to May 24) with right shoulder inflammation. 

Manager Aaron Boone said Donaldson, who needed an IV treatment earlier this week because of his illness symptoms, underwent an MRI on Thursday and had a cortisone shot in the shoulder.  

“He’s been dealing with a little bit of a shoulder [issue] off and on kind of all season,” Boone said. “So when he came in the other day [at Yankee Stadium] to get his IV, the shoulder was barking . . . He’s feeling better. With the ability to backdate it, hopefully it’s something that’s a short thing and he can kind of keep making improvements.” 

Donaldson still faces a one-game suspension after he is activated. He was suspended by Major League Baseball for referring to White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson as “Jackie” during an on-field incident last Saturday. Donaldson, who has apologized, is appealing the suspension. 

Trainer’s room 

DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks, neither of whom was available off the bench on Thursday, improved to the point that they were expected to be options for Boone on Friday. 

Hicks (tight right hamstring) tried to talk Boone into letting him start, but the manager opted for the cautious route. 

LeMahieu (sore left wrist) seemed to be headed to the IL on Thursday afternoon but showed “marked improvement and came in today feeling well,” Boone said. 

Boone said Giancarlo Stanton, who is on the IL with right ankle inflammation, is feeling better, too. 

“He’s in today doing some moving around and some light hitting [at Yankee Stadium],” Boone said. “I think we avoided a situation there, so that’s encouraging.” 

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