New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton will begin a rehab assignment from an Achilles injury on Saturday, manager Aaron Boone told reporters Friday.
Stanton has not played since a July 23 loss to the Baltimore Orioles and was placed on the injured list on July 26 with Achilles tendinitis.
The news comes after Boone told reporters Wednesday that Stanton could return from his injury at some point next week and that the team was hopeful he could start a rehab assignment this weekend.
This is Stanton's second stint on the injured list this season. His first came in May, when he went on the IL with a right calf injury.
With Stanton sidelined, the Yankees have lost 15 of their last 23 games and have fallen out of the American League lead, sitting 3.5 games behind the first-place Houston Astros with a 73-46 record.
The Pinstripes still hold a comfortable nine-game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. However, the club can't be happy with its play of late, and it needs to turn things around before the end of the season.
The star slugger said earlier this week that it's been tough to watch the Yankees struggle while he's been sidelined.
"Very annoying," Stanton said of staying patient as the Yankees struggle, per Greg Joyce of the New York Post. "It’s annoying not playing in general. But you gotta be smart also. That trumps everything."
Stanton's return should help give the offense a spark. He's hitting .228/.309/.498 this season with 24 home runs and 61 RBI. That said, the team will need some other players to step up regardless, including DJ LeMahieu, Josh Donaldson and Andrew Benintendi.