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TORONTO (AP) — Slugger Aaron Judge could return to the Yankees by the time the New York plays Boston in London on June 29 and 30, and reliever Dellin Betances felt good after facing hitters for the first time in almost three months.
Judge, out since April 21 because of a strained left oblique, is working out at the team's minor league complex in Tampa, Florida. The Yankees and Red Sox play the first major league regular-season games in Europe when they meet at Olympic Stadium.
"Don't say I said 'he's going to be back by London,'" manager Aaron Boone explained Wednesday. "But is there a way? Yes. We'll let the timeline continue to unfold. Bottom line is he's been doing really good now for a couple of weeks where feel like the injury is out of there. ... He's got to get built up a little bit differently than some guys coming back. As long as he continues to respond and get built up, we feel good about where he's at."
Judge still has not been playing in extended spring training, a step before a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment.
"I think he did cage BP today, did his defensive work throwing program and everything," Boone said before the Yankees played in Toronto. "Not hitting live or anything yet, but I think several rounds in the cage, was really letting it go and, again, doing really well."
Betances threw 20 pitches to minor leaguers in a simulated game in Tampa.
"He came out of it feeling well," Boone said. "I think he continues to build momentum."
Betances has not pitched in a game since March 17, his fourth and final spring training appearance, because of a right shoulder impingement
"It felt good," Betances said. "Nice to face hitters. It's been a while. Nice to be out there again and not feel what I was feeling last time. I think that's a positive."
Boone said Betances will likely throw a bullpen session Friday before facing hitters again
Giancarlo Stanton, sidelined since March 31, progressed to an extended spring training intrasquad game and went 1 for 5. Stanton didn't run out of the batters' box in any of his at-bats. He had nine plate appearances in a simulated game Tuesday
Stanton originally strained his left biceps, then his left shoulder. He played in one game for Class A Tampa on May 20, then was told to rest because of left calf tightness
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