NEW YORK – If the Yankees defenseman, Aaron Judge, knows when he will come back, he will not say it.
It is clear that the judge does not want the drama of last year to be repeated.
The judge said twice that there was no timetable for his return from what his manager Aaron Boone called "a fairly important left oblique strain" – and he alluded to how the Yankees missed his return from the list of injured last year.
"It's not necessary to put a stopwatch because of what happened with the wrist last year," said the judge after a 7-6, 10-run win over the Royals at Yankee Stadium. "So, needless to go back in this way."
On 26 July, a fastball fractured his right wrist and, although the Yankees immediately announced that they were waiting for his return in three weeks, he did not play until 14 September.
And every day that Judge passed the deadline, he wondered why he had not come back yet.
He does not want to do that anymore.
"There is no timetable for anything yet," he said. "You do not have to have one. It's sort of based on how I feel and I'll progress from there. "
The current plan is for the judge to go to the west coast with the team on Sunday and rehabilitate. He begins a long trip Monday with the angels before heading to San Francisco and Arizona.
The Yankees' best hitter, Judge was beaten with a .288 average with five homers, 11 RBIs and .925 overrunning in 20 games.
He became the 12th member of the team to end up on the wounded list, joining the stars Giancarlo Stanton, a designated hitter; Gary Sanchez, a catcher; and Luis Severino, their best pitcher.
"It's difficult," said the judge. "It was one of my goals. I did not want to go back to the DL or anything, especially in tough times like this when the guys are beaten, I wanted to be in the trenches with the guys every day, facing tough times. But that happens and it's a difficult point. "
The judge said he felt the injury during a run in the sixth inning that ended in a single. He had dominated earlier in the game.
The judge was asked what he thought when he clearly showed the pain by jogging to first base before being fired for a pinch runner.
"I can not say that on television," he said.
"But it was not good. Just because I was thinking about the team and the situation we are going through. I just want to be there for them. Getting this removed is difficult. "
He said that he would rest about a week before being reassessed. He stated that he did not think the injury was as serious as the right oblique strain he suffered at the end of the 2016 season.
And as for the rest of the range?
"Even if I stay for a long time, it will mean that other guys will have a chance to play, show what they have and produce for us at the highest level," said Judge. "It's the only thing that interests me, guys who are lucky enough to go out there and perform."