aaron judge yankees
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The Yankees are about to get a huge boost to the rotation this week, as Carlos Rodon is scheduled to make his long-awaited team debut. But when can New York start expecting outfielder Aaron Judge to get activated off the injured list, as well?

The reigning AL MVP winner isn’t exactly close to returning to action, but he’s at least closer than he was before. Judge’s first step toward a return has recently included starting to hit off a tee.

At this point, it sounds like more of a pain management issue for Judge. He’s already succumbed to the fact that he’ll probably have to play through the pain for at least the rest of this season (all quotes via NJ.com):

The injury takes a year or two years or three years (to fully heal), and I still think you feel that. You never know what it’s going to feel like. I can’t see the future.

There’s talk of surgery, but I don’t think we’re at that [point]. I’m not a doctor. I have no idea. They throw around eight different things.

It doesn’t feel great. I don’t think I’ll ever be normal (this year), but I’m walking around pretty good right now.

Judge was recently named an American League All-Star, which is the fifth time he’s accomplished that during his MLB career. But, he’s obviously in no shape to play just yet. The biggest hurdle toward his returning is how it feels when he runs:

I’ve got to be able to run. If I can run, then I can play. Me running at 10 percent ain’t going to help anybody out there. … Besides running, it’s me being able to put 270 pounds on one leg when I’m hitting.

Once we build up that strength and get the pain out of there, we’re going to be in a good spot. I understand you’re going to deal with some pain coming back, so it’s just about getting to a point where it’s tolerable and we’re not setting ourselves back.

This has been frustrating for Judge, the Yankees, and Yankees fans, for multiple reasons. Outside of the obvious (Judge not playing), there’s been no real timetable as to when he’ll return. That’s still the case, but NJ.com’s Randy Miller is reporting that mid-to-late July isn’t being ruled out yet.

Whether that’s a realistic timeline or not will be known once Judge tries to run. As we’ve been doing for the past month, we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

You can reach Matt Musico at matt.musico@xlmedia.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.