Yankees slugger Aaron Judge expected to be out of lineup for start of Guardians series

ARLINGTON, Texas — Aaron Judge continues to make progress on his strained right hip, but the star slugger’s absence will likely extend into the Yankees’ upcoming homestand, manager Aaron Boone said.

Boone doesn’t expect Judge to play in Monday’s game against the Cleveland Guardians in the Bronx but says he could return to the lineup later in the week.

“If he doesn’t go on the [injured list], probably the best case is sometime in that Cleveland series,” Boone said Sunday.

Judge got banged up Wednesday on an awkward head-first slide into third base against the Minnesota Twins. He remained in that game and started Thursday’s road series opener against the Texas Rangers but left in the fourth inning after two at-bats.

The reigning American League MVP hasn’t played since, and an MRI on Friday revealed a mild strain to the top of his hip. The Yankees hope to determine by Monday whether Judge will require a stint on the injured list.

“He came in feeling a little better today, so I’m sure he’ll go through everything and we’ll evaluate where we are,” Boone said before Sunday’s game in Arlington.

The Yankees dropped Friday and Saturday’s games without Judge, scoring only two total runs on eight hits between the losses. Judge — who re-signed with the Yankees on a nine-year, $360 million contract in the offseason, leads the team with six home runs and 14 RBIs.

Following Thursday’s early exit, Judge said he wasn’t “too concerned” about the injury.

“Best to shut it down and try to reevaluate and see here in a couple days,” Judge said.

Bauers awaits MRI results

Newly called-up Jake Bauers expressed optimism Sunday morning as he awaited MRI results on his right knee, which he hurt the night before in a hard crash into the left-field wall.

The collision occurred in the first inning of Saturday’s game in Arlington after Bauers made a tough sliding catch. X-rays were negative.

“I feel like I’m walking pretty good, walking pain-free,” Bauers said Sunday. “The only thing that’s keeping my range of motion down is the swelling.”

Outfielder Franchy Cordero, who was sent down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after Friday’s game, was back in the Yankees clubhouse Sunday. He is currently on the team’s traveling taxi squad, Boone said.

Severino to make rehab start

Two days after he threw a successful live session, starting pitcher Luis Severino is nearing a rehab assignment, Boone said.

Severino, who is working back from a lat strain, is expected to pitch for High-A Tampa on Wednesday or Thursday.

“Sevy’s doing well,” Boone said Sunday.

The hard-throwing right-hander hasn’t appeared in a game this season after going 7-3 with a 3.18 ERA last year. He threw 40 pitches in Friday’s live session.

Stanton, Donaldson make progress

Injured lineup regulars Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson are both hitting, throwing and participating in running programs, according to the Yankees manager.

Boone didn’t offer a timeline for either player but said Sunday they are “both definitely making progress.”

Stanton hasn’t played since April 15 due to a Grade 2 hamstring strain and could miss more than a month. Donaldson last appeared in a game on April 5 and suffered a setback on his strained hamstring during a rehab assignment about two weeks later.

Kahnle feels good after bullpen

Also progressing is reliever Tommy Kahnle, who said he felt good after a bullpen session Sunday morning.

Kahnle, who experienced bicep tendinitis more than a month ago, tossed 20 pitches — including four change-ups — during the session and expects to throw another bullpen on Thursday.

“Everything felt right,” Kahnle said Sunday.

Kahnle hasn’t pitched in 2023 after signing a two-year contract with the Yankees in the offseason. He returns from the Los Angeles Dodgers after playing with New York from 2017-20.