Aaron Judge to miss two weeks with fractured rib, could need surgery

Aaron Judge will miss at least two weeks due to a rib injury. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The New York Yankees finally found out what’s been ailing outfielder Aaron Judge, and the news isn’t great. Judge is dealing with a stress fracture in one of his ribs and will miss at least two weeks, according to Newsday’s Erik Boland.

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The Yankees had been running tests on the 27-year-old Judge the past couple days. The team was alerted to the issue after Judge complained of pain under his right pectoral.

The team has recommended Judge rest the next two weeks, but there’s no guarantee that will solve the issue. If Judge doesn’t experience improvement over that period, the team could consider surgery to correct the issue. The team believes Judge’s injury occurred back in September, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.

Judge was limited to 102 games last season due to an oblique injury. He hit .272/.381/.540, with 27 home runs, in 447 plate appearances.

Yankees already dealing with multiple injuries this spring

After a season full of injuries, the Yankees have once again been hit hard by the injury bug. Starter Luis Severino will miss all of 2020 due to Tommy John surgery, while James Paxton will get a late start to his season after having back surgery. Slugger Giancarlo Stanton — who played just 18 games in 2019 — has missed time this spring due to a calf injury.

Yankees were able to overcome injuries last year

While those injuries should concern Yankees fans, the team was able to overcome a number of issues last season. All four of those players — and many others — missed time in 2019, and the Yankees still won 103 games and the American League East.

The team thrived thanks to surprise performances from Gio Urshela, Mike Tauchman, Mike Ford and Cameron Maybin — among others, including now-suspended pitcher Domingo Germán. The team also experienced breakouts from DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres.

Yankees winning the AL East could be tough

With many of those players still around for the start of 2020, the Yankees will look to once again surge to the top of the AL East. That won’t be an easy task. The Tampa Bay Rays won 96 games in 2019, and could threaten to knock off the Yankees should New York stumble. The Boston Red Sox are also lurking, though they could be without ace Chris Sale at the start of the season — if not longer.

Even with the injuries, the Yankees should be able to field a competitive club. But expecting the team to be as dominant as it was last season will be tough.

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