Yankees slugger Judge will miss two weeks with rib fracture

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Miami (AFP)

New York Yankees star outfielder Aaron Judge will miss the next two weeks of Major League Baseball pre-season games with a fractured right rib, manager Aaron Boone said Friday.

Only then will the Yankees reassess the status of the 27-year-old slugger and a timetable of when he might be able to return, with surgery not off the table for the two-time All-Star.

Judge was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his first right rib, Boone said, after doctors gave him numerous tests, including shoulder MRIs, to try and discover what was causing him trouble.

"A lot of tests to get," Boone said. "It's a tough diagnosis to find, so that's what we're dealing with.

"We'll reassess in two weeks where he's at as far as the bones healing and then hopefully we'll have an idea what it looks like."

Boone said the injury likely dates to the end of the 2019 regular season when Judge hit the ground making a diving catch.

"It's probably an injury that dates back to September when he dove, we think," Boone said. "It shows signs of healing, so we will give it the next couple of weeks and then we will retest it to show how much healing is going on."

While Boone wouldn't rule out surgery, he said that it was less likely if the rib heals well.

"You could do surgery at some point to remove the rib so I wouldn't say that's off the table," Boone said. "You wouldn't want to go do that right now, especially if the bones heal."