Juan Soto injury update: Yankees' star improving, but needs more tests

We're not out of the woods yet.
New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays / Cole Burston/GettyImages

Yankees superstar Juan Soto temporarily changed the 2024 team's momentum on Friday night, mashing a stomach-turning home run on a 3-0 count, flipping the score from 3-1 to 4-3 and setting up a late-inning laugher.

Who knew that, at the time, he was harboring an injury that would require examination on both Saturday and Monday?

Soto also scored the first Yankees run of Friday night's game, dashing home on a clever play by Aaron Judge, who stalled on the base paths until Soto could scamper. Reaching the plate safely required a daring slide; while sprawling towards home, Soto smashed his right hand on the dirt, and was shown flexing it in the dugout.

The pain didn't prevent him from taking one hell of a hack in his next at-bat, but the next morning, the situation was quite different. Soto struggled to grip a bat and felt himself compensating for the issue in batting practice, leading to a late scratch and initial scans (which showed nothing).

Soto reportedly feels better on Sunday afternoon, but still thinks it's likely he gets an MRI or CT scan on the off day Monday to rule out anything really nefarious.

Yankees superstar Juan Soto will likely get MRI/CT scan on hand Monday

Soto tested his hand pregame on Sunday, and the Yankees made fans wait longer than anyone anticipated for the lineup. Ultimately, Aaron Boone and Co. decided against Soto's inclusion. No word yet on how much he protested.

With the train already hopping off the tracks in recent days, the last thing these Yankees can afford is a long-term Soto injury as they try to stay afloat in the playoff picture. Currently slated as the first Wild Card, the Yankees had as much trouble gripping the AL East lead as Soto did a piece of lumber on Saturday afternoon.

A short-term Soto absence? Sure, it's annoying, but it's technically palatable, especially with the All-Star break right around the corner (man, the Yankees really are losing potential All-Stars by the minute).

A lingering issue that knocks Soto out for over a month, minimum? That could be the Jonathan Papelbon-predicted death knell for a team that doesn't exactly have the rock solid hold on a playoff spot that they once did.