Yankees slugger Aaron Judge spoke with reporters today about his recovery from the fractured rib that sidelined him for the duration of spring training. Judge said that a CT scan showed some improvement, and also revealed that he was diagnosed with a pneumothorax. For those of us who didn’t attend medical school, that’s a collapsed lung.
The Mayo Clinic says that a pneumothorax can be a partial or total collapse of the lung, and occurs when “air leaks into the space between your lung and chest wall. This air pushes on the outside of your lung and makes it collapse.” Evidently during either the initial injury or when Judge re-aggravated the rib, some air went into that space in his body. It’s amazing that he was able to do even the light work he had been limited to before the diagnosis.
Judge has plenty of time to heal. The baseball world (and the non-baseball world for that matter) has ground to a near-standstill because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aaron Judge: “That’s the silver lining in all of this, having the ability to not feel rushed trying to get back for a certain date. We don’t really have a date right now. I’m just trying to let it heal. Not trying to rush it.”
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 20, 2020
The big right fielder will remain in Tampa to rehab the injury. It’s anyone’s guess as to when Opening Day will actually take place, if it happens at all, but the long break means that Yankees might be able to have their best hitter in the lineup when it’s time to play ball.
The Bombers also have Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks on the mend, the prior from a calf strain and the latter from Tommy John surgery. New York could have their entire starting outfield at full strength if the season resumes in July.