NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 15: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees looks on during batting practice prior to game three of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium on October 15, 2019 in New York City.
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Aaron Judge feels he’s ahead of his recovery schedule as the New York Yankees star works his way back from a stress fracture in his ribs.

The oft-injured New York Yankees might have some good news regarding star outfielder Aaron Judge. Speaking to reporters, including Bryan Hoch of, Judge said he feels “ahead of schedule” in his recovery from a stress fracture in his ribs.

“I’m feeling great. We’re progressing really well,” Judge said. “I feel like we might be ahead of schedule. I don’t know what the schedule is but I feel like I’m kinda pushing their timeline as much as I can. I’m feeling like I’m going to start ramping up things here and hopefully, I’m gonna try and get this CT scan done as soon as I can.”

Aaron Judge has yet to play in a spring training game after his injury caused right shoulder discomfort early in camp. It was later determined he initially suffered the injury while diving for a ball last September. After several rounds of tests, a CT scan revealed the stress fracture on March 6.

Judge was then shut down to be re-evaluated in two weeks, with the potential for surgery on the table. Clearly, if he’s ramping up his workouts in the weight room on top of treatments, he’s feeling better.

What it means

Even more good news for Judge is he has even more time to get ready for the season. He was already ruled out for Opening Day, but even that could now change.

This is because per multiple reports, including MLB insider Jon Heyman, MLB is suspending spring training starting Friday. This is in response to the COVID-19/coronavirus outbreak, which hit the NBA on Wednesday night. Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and guard Donovan Mitchell each tested positive for the virus. As a result, the NBA season has been suspended indefinitely.

This all happened on the back of the NCAA determining its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, set to begin next week, would be played in empty arenas. In response to the NBA suspending play, all Power 5 conferences canceled their respective tournaments. MLS and the NHL also suspended play in response to the virus.

These were all the correct and appropriate moves because the safety of everyone involved should come first. Meanwhile, Aaron Judge and the rest of the injured Yankees could oddly wind up benefitting from this.

Think about it. Judge was already ruled out for Opening Day on March 26, as was teammate Giancarlo Stanton with a calf strain. Pitcher James Paxton‘s recovery from back surgery is expected to keep him out until mid-May at the earliest.

Now that MLB has suspended spring training, Opening Day too will be delayed. Suddenly, Judge and his teammates have some more time to recover. Injuries which otherwise would have meant a stint on the injured list can now be treated with less of a rush.

But what’s most important, obviously, is Judge getting healthy the right way as opposed to the fast way. Now that MLB and other leagues have suspended play, at least for now, here’s hoping Gobert, Mitchell, and all others affected are healthy again soon too.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.