Aaron Judge
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Much is still unknown about Aaron Judge’s oblique injury. Even the doctors are puzzled, and the good news is hard to find.

Geoffrey Campbell

Aaron Judge did the right thing when he resisted the temptation to set a timeline for his return to baseball. Judge’s oblique injury has sidelined him since Saturday’s win versus the Kansas City Royals and his presence is certainly missed.

While manager Aaron Boone called the injury “significant,” mums been the word on the degree and what Judge is capable of doing in his rehab. Yet Brandon Kuty of NJ.com was able to get some insight as to what Judge is going through as well as details on the healing process.

Dr. James Gladstone, Chief of Sports Medicine at Mount Sinai, spoke with Kuty about Judge’s injury.

“When they tear, they create a pretty intense reaction,” he said, “which involves pain and then bleeding and then the whole healing process begins.”

Gladstone also spoke about why oblique strains can linger with players.

“So it’s really important during the healing process to do stretching or lengthening of the muscle so that during its resting phase the muscle is at the same length as it usually is, and that it’s not in a short or contracted condition. Because if it’s in a short or contracted condition, (a strain) is more prone to recurring.”

It’s a waiting game. Judge has to heal, stretch, and his progress has to be monitored periodically. In his absence, the “next man up” theory has been really put to the test. Monday night, the Yankees sent out Mike Tauchman in right field, who went 0-for-6 in an extra-innings win against the Anaheim Angels.

Tauchman hasn’t been bad since his call up from Scranton, but the Yanks, as a team, are running out of options. But help is around the corner. Gary Sanchez just finished a rehab game in Charleston and could back with the Yankees as soon as Wednesday.

The Yankees have three more games with the Angels, then head out to play the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks in the always brutal west coast trip. With the exception of the Diamondbacks, the competition won’t be stiff, but Boone’s ability to shuffle these lineups and keep the ship above water may be one of his biggest tests as a manager this season.

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