Aaron Judge Calls Recovery from Shoulder Surgery 'A Work in Progress'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2018

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge takes batting practice at baseball spring training camp, Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge said he won't be fully healthy until the Bronx Bombers open the regular season on March 29 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

"It's a work in progress until Opening Day," Judge said Monday, per Coley Harvey of ESPN.com.

Harvey noted Judge will play in Wednesday's spring training game but is still working his way back from offseason shoulder surgery.

Harvey pointed out the Yankees predicted Judge would be recovered by the start of spring training when they announced in November he would undergo the arthroscopic procedure, but that has not been the case.

Still, that didn't stop him from drilling 10 home runs in batting practice Monday, per Harvey.

New York grew accustomed to Judge's homers last season when he connected on 52 while slashing .284/.422/.627 with 114 RBI on his way to the American League Rookie of the Year and a Silver Slugger award. His presence in the lineup was a primary reason the Yankees advanced to Game 7 of the American League Championship Series before succumbing to the eventual champion Houston Astros.

He will have plenty of power-hitting company in the order in 2018 after the Yankees traded for 2017 National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton this offseason.

Stanton hit 59 home runs for the Miami Marlins last year and will add even more punch to a New York offense that was second in the league with 858 runs scored in 2017. The combination of Stanton and a healthy Judge figures to serve as a nightmare for opposing pitchers throughout the upcoming season.