‘Home Run King’ Jersey shakes off toe injury, returns to starting lineup after 55 days away

SEOUL, South Korea (Yonhap) – Major League Baseball slugger Aaron Judge, 31, of the New York Yankees, returned to the starting lineup for the first time in 55 days.Jersey will bat second and lead off against the visiting Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., on Monday (June 29).In right field against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on April 4, Judge made a great catch in the bottom of the eighth inning of a J.D. Martinez line drive that crashed into the fence.It was a play that prevented a run from scoring, but it also caused him to stub his toe. The impact was hard enough to open the bullpen doors on the outfield side.He spent nearly two months rehabbing the injury, which was later confirmed to be a torn ligament in his toe.It had been 55 days since June 4 since he was in the big league starting lineup.Judge wore a spike today with added protection to prevent a recurrence of the injury.”I’m still not 100 percent, casinositezone but I’m in ‘stable condition,'” he told MLB.com, adding, “We have to make sure it doesn’t recur. If it comes back, it could be a problem next year, the next year, the next year. That’s why I’ve been rehabbing cautiously.”The Yankees were also cautious, deciding to activate Judge six hours before the start of the game.For the time being, Judge will play designated hitter.But he’s also been working on defense and baserunning lately.”My goal was to come back in Baltimore,” he said. I’m going to try to get back to playing defense and running the bases like I used to,” he said.Judge hit 62 home runs last year, breaking the MLB American League (AL) record for most home runs in a season (61) set by Roger Maris in 1961.He also led the AL in RBI (131), runs scored (133), on-base percentage (.425), and slugging percentage (.686), earning AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors.When he became a free agent after the 2022 season, he signed a massive nine-year, $360 million contract with his original team, the Yankees.This season, after missing time due to injury, he is batting .291 with 19 home runs and 40 RBIs through 28 games

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