Toe injuries can be finicky. Aaron Judge injuries can be finicky. The Yankees are preaching caution and staying mum on their internal timetable for Judge's recovery, after the powerhouse right fielder made mincemeat of the Dodger Stadium right field fence.
Still, based on the way the team's medical staff has behaved so far with Judge's injury, sports surgeon Dr. Spencer Stein of NYU Langone believes that all signs point to the All-Star having escaped disaster.
Or they point to the Yankees' medical staff mishandling a more major injury out of desperation. It simply can't be ruled out.
Judge has stayed relatively silent so far -- "There's no timetable, really, which I think is best. Because there's a couple things going on in there." -- but the PRP injection the Yankees gave him after diagnosing him with a toe contusion/ligament sprain is the key to Stein's analysis.
According to the good doctor, the Yankees wouldn't have administered such an injection for a more severe sprain. Their course of treatment indicates that Judge will be down for a week or two, then will need another week or two to ramp back up.
Yankees won't announce Aaron Judge injury timetable, but things seem good?
The real danger was a potential fracture of the sesamoid bone, which is what felled DJ LeMahieu last season (and ... and probably this season, too?). If Judge had fractured that -- and the Yankees are insisting there is no fracture to speak of -- then he might've needed surgery that would end his season and knock him out for 4-6 months.
For now, we'll have to go off Dr. Stein's medical knowledge (even though he's speaking from experience and hasn't been privy to Judge's tests or scans), because Aaron Boone and the Yankees really don't want to put a clock on this whole thing.
Boone got testy when pressed on a potential timeline on Thursday, claiming he'd give the media "the best timeline [they] possibly can" down the road. The team remains famously secretive with these things, though, unwilling to toss a number out there for fear of being wedded to it down the line as things go awry.
It's (supposedly) not a break. It's some sort of high-impact turf toe, which recently knocked Marlins outfielder Jazz Chisholm out after a similar wall kick (he's getting back to baseball activities about a month after impact). Per Meredith Marakovits on Thursday's broadcast, Judge is also enthused that the injury is to the side of his pivot toe rather than the bottom. LeMahieu's last season was on the bottom, and nagged eternally.
It would seem the Yankees dodged the worst-case scenario here, and are humoring a relatively minor injury. But Judge's toe still hurts. He's still swelled up. Until any of that dissipates, he can't get back to work, and no one can accurately theorize. Not even doctors.