DJ LeMahieu mashing damaged foot with foul ball is Yankees' latest injury worry

It's always something.

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

The X-Rays may have come back clean over the weekend, but that doesn't mean Yankees star DJ LeMahieu is out of the woods. In fact, based on his absence into Monday afternoon, he may have retreated further into them.

LeMahieu's toe was Judge's toe before Judge's toe; the utility infielder was compromised in 2022 by an unceasing digit worry, but reportedly entered camp in 2023 feeling fresh, in no need of surgical intervention.

Still, he couldn't quite reestablish himself as The Machine until the second half arrived, hitting .220 with a .643 OPS in the first half before turning it on and wrapping with an .809 second-half OPS/.273 average.

That would indicate that his rhythm had been thrown off by the preceding injury (and the aging curve) before he finally got a handle on things. Ever a creature of habit, the fewer LeMahieu disruptions the better entering 2024, without Oswald Peraza behind him as an insurance policy.

...Oh. LeMahieu, on Saturday, fouled a ball hard off the very same foot. Scans revealed no damage, but he hung back for additional treatment on Sunday, then was nowhere to be found on Monday morning. That sound you hear is every Yankee fan screaming, "WHY couldn't it have been the OTHER FOOT?!"

Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu hit toe hard with foul ball vs Blue Jays

The injury shoe is, unfortunately, always on the same foot for these extremely repetitive Yankees.

Despite a promising initial prognosis, it's no great surprise why LeMahieu's dogs are still barking on Monday morning, given the video evidence of a powerful impact. The valuable infielder took significant time to gather himself before ultimately recovering, but the strike sent shockwaves through his next 48 hours anyway.

"Smoked it," indeed.

Ironically -- and frustratingly -- LeMahieu looked like his old self earlier in the contest, roping an outside pitch down the right field line, as he did so many times during his remarkably impactful peak.

Yankees fans might get a positive resolution here, but they'll be sweating it out regardless -- especially if LeMahieu opens the year "healthy," but slumping. Where's Josh Donaldson when you need him (or, more specifically, Donovan Solano)?