To say that the New York Yankees were done dirty by the injury gods in the first two months of the season would be a colossal understatement.
And though the Bronx Bombers have received some good news over the last 10 days -- Gary Sanchez, Clint Frazier, and Aaron Hicks have all returned -- the club isn't out of the woods just yet.
Just a few days ago, manager Aaron Boone admitted that there was no timetable in place for Aaron Judge's return, as the slugging outfielder works his way back from an oblique injury. To somehow make matters worse, retired All-Star Carlos Beltran, who has dealt with the same injury, recently claimed that Judge will not be healthy all season.
This was always the concern among skeptics, pundits, and even Yankees fans once they heard that No. 99 was diagnosed with a "significant left oblique strain." From swinging, throwing, tracking fly balls, to even running the bases, the oblique muscle is pivotal to each and every movement of a baseball player.
And let's be honest here. What source is better than Beltran? The former 21-year veteran (and teammate of Judge) has seen and been through it all. His input on an injury should be taken more seriously than that of a Buster Olney or Jeff Passan simply because he's lived through it.
Judge will return at some point, but don't be fooled in thinking that the former Rookie of the Year is at full strength when Boone finally includes his name on the lineup card.