Judge: Rib improving, also had collapsed lung


New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge told reporters Friday that his fractured rib is improving, and he also disclosed that he suffered a partially collapsed lung.

Two weeks ago, manager Aaron Boone said a fractured rib revealed by a CT scan was why Judge had been suffering tightness in his shoulder and pectoral area, thus significantly limiting his baseball activities since early February.

The Yankees never divulged the pneumothorax, commonly called a collapsed lung. Judge said a scheduled CT scan Friday showed the pneumothorax had fully healed and that had been slight progress in the healing of the rib.

“The pneumothorax came back completely gone, which a good thing,” Judge told reporters outside Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. “Good to go, which means I can fly if I needed to go home. A little thing on the lung that we were having a little issue with, but that was all healed up. … The bone is healing the way it should be.”

Judge said he would have another test in a few weeks “and go from there.”

With the season delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, Judge likely will have time to heal without surgery. He has been doing light workouts at Steinbrenner Field alongside a few teammates, including Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu and Tyler Wade.

“That’s the silver lining in all this,” Judge said. “I think just having the ability to not feel rushed trying to get back, you know, for a certain date.”

Judge, 27, said two weeks ago that the problem dated to a game against the Los Angeles Angels last September, when he heard “a crack and pop” in his chest on a diving attempt in the outfield.

While states like New York and California have called for all nonessential businesses to shut down due to the pandemic, it is currently not a mandate in Florida.

“The great thing is they have this open so we can come here and still do some baseball activity and stay ready, just kind of feel like we’re still in baseball mode,” Judge said. “[The team] kind of told us we can do whatever, but I got a place here [in Tampa], so I might as well just stay here and still work with the guys that we have as long as they don’t shut us down.”

Players were encouraged to return to their respective homes or to their home club’s city, but those with homes in the Tampa Bay area have elected to remain in the area due to varying concerns.

“It looks like the season is getting pushed back further. A lot of guys are still here as long as this is open,” pitcher Zack Britton, the Yankees players’ union representative, said Friday.

“Obviously, there’s a ban on gatherings of 50 more people, so if the Health Department or the CDC want to shut facilities down, then the team’s hands are tied, and guys will have to find another place to work out. And most guys wouldn’t have an alternative workout option in Tampa, maybe even not at home. So guys are in a tricky spot, but a lot of guys are still planning on hanging around.”

Two Yankees minor leaguers have tested positive for the coronavirus. The team’s minor league complex will be shut down until at least March 25 under the directive of the Department of Health.

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