Yankees happy with Aaron Judge’s slow and steady rehab

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 28: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees works out in the field prior to a game against the San Diego Padres at Yankee Stadium on May 28, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 28: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees works out in the field prior to a game against the San Diego Padres at Yankee Stadium on May 28, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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It seems a lot longer than April 20 that Aaron Judge has taken the field of play. Despite his absence, the Yankees have flourished as Judge continues to slowly but surely make his way back from a strained left oblique.

Yankees superstar Aaron Judge missed seven weeks of the 2018 season with a fractured wrist. So naturally, both he and the Yankees were hoping for an injury-free campaign in 2019.

However, after only 20 games, the face of the franchise went down with a significant left oblique strain. Yet, without Judge, the Yanks have gone 26-9 and sit atop the AL East, one game above the Tampa Rays.

And so on Tuesday, Judge began the next step in his rehab as he took swings off a tee, shagged fly balls from outfield coach Reggie Willits and even performed some agility drills under the supervision of strength and conditioning coach Matt Krause.

Although a return date is still cloudy, manager Aaron Boone told George A. King III of the New York Post that Judge is headed in the right direction.

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"“Now he continues to build up that slow, steady progress from a hitting standpoint, which obviously is the biggest thing with that injury,’’ said Boone, who eventually envisions Judge moving from hitting off a tee to batting practice. “He has responded really well to everything and is in a really good place right now as he really starts to ramp up baseball activities.’’"

After being spotted carrying a bat during the Yanks’ recent road trip to Baltimore, fans began getting excited about the possibility of an impending rehab assignment.

However, with the Bombers continuing to pace their division — which included going 8-2 in their last 10, the fact of the matter is that the organization is being overly cautious with their prized possession for a reason.

Oblique injuries are easily re-aggravated and can linger all season if not dealt with kid gloves.

Besides, the more the Yankees win, the longer they can hold out not only Judge — but Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorius and even Jordan Montgomery.

Considering the glut of injuries the club has endured through its first 55 games — boasting a 36-19 record is spectacular.

Next. Gary Sanchez matches Mickey Mantle in record books. dark

From the next man up mentality to surprise performances up and down the lineup and even Aaron Boone’s better management of the bullpen, these Yankees are primed to withstand the intense summer heat.