Can you believe it was just two weeks ago today that we found out about Aaron Judge’s injury? It feels like a lifetime ago. In some ways it was, really. For those of us who may have forgotten, we learned that Judge had a stress fracture in his rib that may or may not require surgery to fix. This was the play on which the injury occurred, all the way back in September:
The short-term prognosis was for Judge to take it easy and see if the bone healed on its own. The last real update came a few days ago. Bryan Hoch reported that Judge, who is incapable of “taking it easy”, was “aggressively pushing it” in workouts because he felt better.
All of this serves as a precursor for today’s update. It was an interesting one to say the least. First, let’s start with the good news, via Kristie Ackert of the Daily News:
The test looked good! The bone has shown healing! He won’t need surgery because of the delay! I love silver linings! The previously undisclosed issue with his lung has healed! This is all pretty good stuff, right?
[Taps mic] What’s that? A “previously undisclosed issue with his lung?” That’s a new one! Fortunately, Judge was right there to clarify this right away, so we have more clarity. Again, via Ackert:
Ah, a collapsed lung. A collapsed lung! That is a very serious medical issue, though its severity depends on a number of factors that we don’t quite have available to us, obviously. The long and short of it, though, is that lungs help us breath and breathing is very important. Not sure about you guys, but I prefer it when anyone, let alone my favorite baseball team’s best player, has fully functioning lungs. The good news, via Bryan Hoch, is that it is “completely gone”:
All in all, there are many questions here. For instance, one might reasonably ask for how long the lung was collapsed? Did it occur on that play highlighted above? If it did, why didn’t the Yankees catch it in September or even October, after the season? And on and on and on. We all know the drill by now, unfortunately. Judge’s small shoulder concern at the start of camp turned into a broken rib and also, a collapsed lung, as a treat. (Still, even with all of this still out there, it’s obviously very good that Judge’s lung is back to normal. This is genuinely good news.)
Finally, I think we should all take steps to look on the bright side. After all, regular American life is falling apart all around us and baseball is gone. The bright side here, obviously, is that there is some sense of normalcy after all. Even amid a crushing pandemic currently gripping the nation, the Yankees can still shock us with a bizarre, completely unforeseen injury escalation to a vital player. So we have that going for us, which is nice.