Yankees Injury Report: Aaron Hicks still two weeks away from throwing again


After suffering a right flexor strain in his arm on August 3rd Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks was reevaluated on Monday by team doctors. Hicks is feeling better according to manager Aaron Boone but he is still another two weeks away from being cleared to throw again.

It’s been another injury-plagued campaign for Hicks who signed a seven-year, $70M extension with the Yankees during the offseason. After injuring his back early on in Spring Training he didn’t make his season debut until May 15th so he’s only played in 59 games all year. He’s played ok when healthy hitting .235 with 12 HR, 36 RBI, and a. 769 OPS, but he’s taken a slight step back after having a career year in 2018.

Hicks is a very important player for the Yanks because he can impact a game in so many ways but he really hasn’t been missed this season because their roster is so deep with outfielders. Cameron Maybin, Mike Tauchman and Brett Gardner have all done an incredible job collectively filling in for Hicks along with Aaron Judge when he was out and Giancarlo Stanton who’s also still on the IL. During the second half of the season, the three have all played like All-Stars which has helped the Yankees extend their division lead to a commanding 9 games over the Rays.

It’s not a knock on Hicks to say that the Yanks can win without him because the same can be said about the former MVP Stanton who’s only played in nine games all season. It’s a credit to the guys mentioned above, but that doesn’t mean the Yankees don’t want Hicks to come back because when he’s healthy they’re a better team all-around. Hopefully, he can return shortly after resting his arm for another two weeks but if he can’t Yankee fans should still be very confident about the team’s chances this postseason.

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The reason why the team is being extra cautious with Hicks is the flexor strain is so close to his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). Any time a player injures his UCL you fear the worst because it usually leads to the dreaded Tommy John surgery. Hicks has been able to avoid that so far but if he comes back too soon the odds of him tearing his UCL increases. If it tears that would cause him to miss the rest of this season and probably the beginning of the 2020 season too.

That’s a risk the Yankees aren’t willing to take and one they don’t have to because of where they sit in the standings. Sure they’d like to get Hicks back as soon as possible along with all their other key contributors who are still on the IL, but there’s no need to rush any of them back considering how well the current roster is performing.

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As long as they can all return by early September they’ll still have plenty of time to get enough reps before for the real season starts in October.