Boone On Andujar: 'We're Still Optimistic'

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By WFAN.com

The Yankees have been devastated by injuries thus far this season, which has played a large role in the team jumping out to a sluggish 5-7 start.

While the team has played short-handed through the first 12 games, it appears as if the cavalry may soon be on its way to the Bronx.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone joined "Mike's On" Thursday and provided updates on several players currently on the injured list, including CC Sabathia, who Boone stated will be starting for the team's home game on Saturday against the White Sox.

Sabathia's absence was never supposed to be long-term, which is good considering Luis Severino's extended stay on the IL, but it was the news that Boone delivered on Miguel Andujar that should provide Yankees fans with a reason for hope.

"We're still optimistic," the manager told Mike Francesa on Andujar's timetable for a return. "We remain optimistic on it. It's still up in the air. Tomorrow he'll swing and play catch again at 60-90 feet, and then again on Saturday. So it's kind of one of those things. It's either he's going to be able to handle it and be able to get out and actually make the throws, and then we think it it'll go pretty quickly.

"If not, then it could be something that's surgical, which would compromise his season. The initial steps, it's gone pretty well. He's really strong, his physical tests of the shoulder and stuff are really good. If anyone has kind of the mental makeup to do it, it's Miggy. So we'll see. We have to let it play out. But yesterday was at least a good first step in that I think he felt a little bit better than he thought. But in fairness, he didn't throw real hard and it was pretty short." 

Andujar was not the only player to receive a positive medical update recently.

Outfielder Aaron Hicks has been out since the beginning of spring training with a back injury. 

The outfielder, who signed a 7-year, $70 million extension with New York a few days prior to suffering the injury, originally believed he would be back in time for Opening Day.

Of course, that did not happen, but according to Boone, it may not be too long until Hicks is able to return to the linup.

Sep 10, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks (31) rounds third in the seventh inning against Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY SportsUSA TODAY Sports

"I would expect him to be running, throwing, hitting and taking batting practice by the middle of next week," Boone said. "And then hopefully from there, we start graduating him to games. He's going to need some games, obviously, with missing spring training. But he's been two weeks basically passed the injury. It's now just about building him up.

"Hopefully in the next few weeks, we'll be getting him back."

While Hicks clearly still has a little ways to go in his rehab, another one of the team's injured outfielders looks a lot closer to a return.

Giancarlo Stanton landed on the injured list on April 1 with a left biceps strain.

Prior to the injury, the outfielder went 2-for-8 in three games, racking up seven walks during the team's opening series against Baltimore.

The Yankees manager said it shouldn't be long before Stanton is back with the team.

"With Stanton, Stanton hit off the tee yesterday," the manager said about his 29-year-old outfielder. "I think he took about 30 swings off the tee, that went well. So tomorrow, he'll do tee, soft toss, and if that goes well, he should move pretty quickly...

"Hopefully these next few days go well for him and he starts moving quickly to get back with us." 

To listen to Mike's full interview with Aaron Boone, click on the audio player above. 
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