Boone calls it ‘encouraging’ to see how Judge’s toe continues to improve

Associated PressSep 26, 2023, 07:42 PM ET2 Minute Read

TORONTO — Yankees manager Aaron Boone reiterated Tuesday that slugger Aaron Judge is not expected to require offseason surgery on his ailing toe.

Judge was sidelined for 42 games after tearing a ligament in his right big toe when he crashed into the right-field fence while making a catch at Dodger Stadium on June 3.

Judge is batting .266 with 35 homers and 71 RBI in 102 games. He is in the first season of a $360 million, nine-year contract that he signed last offseason.

Last month, a little more than two weeks after Judge came off the injured list, Boone said he didn’t expect the reigning AL MVP to need surgery.

Before the Yankees played the Blue Jays on Tuesday, Boone was asked whether he’s relieved that Judge will likely avoid surgery this winter.

“I’ve kind of felt that way for a while,” Boone said. “I think the relief is in that it’s gone as well as it has since he’s come back. The hope was that he would even improve as it’s gone along, and that’s been the case, too. That’s what I’ve seen, the way he’s been able to move around the bases and things like that. I think there’s been a steady improvement the whole time and I think that’s what’s been encouraging.”

Judge also missed nine games in late April and early May because of a strained right hip.

Judge was not in the starting lineup against Toronto on Tuesday.

“I kind of wanted to get him a day at some point,” Boone said. “Coming off a long, wet series and a lot of hours at the yard. I just felt like the first day here with the turf, I felt like today was the day.”

Last season, Judge hit 62 home runs to break the AL record and help lead New York to the AL East title. The Yankees were swept in the league championship series by the eventual World Series champion Astros.

Shortstop Anthony Volpe was also not in New York’s starting lineup Tuesday. Oswaldo Cabrera started in right field and Oswald Peraza was at shortstop.

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