NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees reacts after being struck out by Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros during the fifth inning in game five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 18, 2019 in New York City.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Despite the long layoff the New York Yankees still expect to be without superstar outfielder Aaron Judge due to a chest injury.

New York Yankees superstar Aaron Judge suffered a stress fracture in his ribs during the 2019 World Series. The injury went unnoticed until spring training, and it landed Judge on the shelf.

The injury is a tricky one as a stress fracture can only heal on its own. It’s going to take time and Judge won’t be allowed to start baseball activities until he’s fully healed, otherwise, he risks aggravating the injury and making it worse.

That’s why general manager Brian Cashman told the media on a video-conference that Judge likely won’t be healthy until “summertime.” The Yankees will likely be without their star for the opening of a 2020 season, if there is one.

This is a big blow for the Yankees. In shortened season every game matters that much more, and not having your star player can be costly. The Yankees depth pieces provided quality play in 2019, but it’s unlikely that they’d get the same level of play from those players again.

With the Yankees set to face off against a tough slate of opponents in a shortened season, that could potentially mean missing the postseason and thus, whiffing on the 2020 World Series. The AL East is already one of the toughest divisions in baseball. Add in the NL East and the Yankees are in a tough spot.

They’ll have to play the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, and Philadelphia Phillies. That’s four teams with World Series aspirations. It’s going to be difficult for the Yankees to manage that kind of schedule if Judge misses a significant amount of time.

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