Yankees SS Didi Gregorius has treated his nagging left heel injury, and is expected to return to the team on Friday for their series opener against the Mariners, reports The Post's George A. King III.
Gregorius worked out before Wednesday's series finale against the A's in Oakland, and it was enough to convince manager Aaron Boone that he was ready for game action.
"He had a good day and we are looking at probably activating him Friday," Boone said.
Not only does it ease Boone's mind that one of his most-trusted gloves will be back in the field, but even more importantly, his lefty bat will return. In 18 August games, Gregorius is hitting .303 with four homers and 14 RBI, and Boone knows his presence in the lineup makes a big difference.
"In a lot of ways, he is one of the heartbeats of this club," he said. "He is in the middle of the diamond and playing a premium position as well as he does [and] gives us a lefty presence in the middle of the lineup. Kind of the captain of the infield out there. Just looking forward to his presence back in our lineup on both sides of the ball."
Getting Gregorius back is another step at a fully healthy Yankees lineup, but there is still one more bat on the DL in Aaron Judge. But good news also came from Boone on the reigning AL Rookie of the Year.
Judge, who has been on the DL with a wrist injury, participated in tee-and-toss hitting drills on Wednesday as he works his way to taking batting practice. Boone noted he didn't see any setback during the drills.
"Another positive step forward and responded well," Boone said. "He was able to pop the ball so we will continue to do that through the weekend."
The Yankees had heavy optimism for Judge to return to the team by now. However, his wrist continues to limit his baseball activity, and the Yankees still don't know exactly when he's coming back.
"We are not exactly sure when he gets to the point when he faces live pitching how exactly we will do that," Boone said.