Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela, Kyle Higashioka test positive for COVID-19; Yankees-Red Sox to play Friday

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Judge at ASG
Judge at ASG

After Thursday's game was postponed to do further contact tracing and COVID-19 testing, Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela, and Kyle Higashioka all tested positive.

Those three players will join Jonathan Loaisiga, Nestor Cortes, and Wandy Peralta on the COVID-19 injured list -- the latter two were placed on the list on Thursday, while Loaisiga was put on the list on Saturday.

MLB announced Friday afternoon that Friday night's Yankees-Red Sox game would proceed as scheduled, while Thursday's postponement will be made up on Aug. 17 as part of a doubleheader.

Judge was at the All-Star Game on Tuesday in Denver, which led Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora to be "worried" about his players at the game, some of which are unvaccinated.

Urshela is fully vaccinated, but it is unknown if Judge and Higashioka are, although Brian Cashman said "most" of the six are fully vaccinated. The Yankees confirmed that at least one of the three newer cases are breakthrough positives.

Judge and Urshela have been two of the most productive and consistent Yankees this year - Judge leads the team in homers, RBI, average, OBP, and SLG, and he started Tuesday's Midsummer Classic.

Urshela's .275 average is the second-best on the team, while Higashioka - although struggling offensively as of late - is the far superior defensive catcher to Gary Sanchez and is Gerrit Cole's personal catcher.

"That's our reality right now," Aaron Boone told reporters on Friday about the limited roster, "and we gotta go and make the best of it."

Boone did say that one player felt like he has a cold, and another one also "didn't feel good," while some others are asymptomatic, and expects them all to miss at least 10 days. None of the players are suffering from severe symptoms, though, Boone said.

With the three new cases, the Yankees brought up Chris Gittens, Rob Brantly, and Hoy Park.