Yankees’ Aaron Judge (abs) hopeful of Opening Day start

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New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge said Tuesday he hopes to be ready for Opening Day as he deals with abdominal discomfort.

He told reporters that an MRI done Monday on the area didn’t reveal any structural damage. Still, he expects to take a few more days off from swinging a bat.

“There’s no real need to push it,” he said.

New York opens the season March 28 on the road against the Houston Astros.

The Yankees finished fourth and out of the postseason last season but entered 2024 with high hopes after the acquisition of 25-year-old star outfielder Juan Soto in the offseason. He is tearing up Grapefruit League play, hitting .429 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 21 at-bats.

But the Yankees’ optimism took a hit Monday when manager Aaron Boone announced that reigning American League Cy Young Award winner was scheduled for an MRI on his pitching elbow following reported discomfort. Those results have yet to be announced.

Judge told reporters that he and his teammates are “praying for the best” for Cole.

Judge, 31, is off to a slow start this spring, going 2-for-14 with one RBI.

Last season, despite a toe injury that forced him to miss almost two months, Judge hit .267 with 37 homers and 75 RBIs.