Aaron Judge says he'll be ready for Opening Day after returning for Yankees on Wednesday

Judge missed nine days of spring training while recovering from an abdominal injury

Aaron Judge missed nine days of spring training while recovering from an abdominal injury. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Aaron Judge returned to the New York Yankees' lineup on Wednesday after missing nine days due to abdominal discomfort.

The Yankees slugger batted third, played four innings in center field and went 1-for-1 with an RBI, walk, and one run scored during New York's 12-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“Feeling good,” Judge said afterward. “Like I’ve been telling you guys, just excited to get back in there. Get a couple at-bats, get a couple swings, get a couple tough plays in the field and get ready for the next game.”

Judge had been out since March 10. After experiencing discomfort during a game against the Atlanta Braves, he underwent an MRI on his abdomen the following day.

He is trying to rebound from a 2023 season in which he missed 42 games in large part due to an injury he suffered June 3 when he tore the ligament in his right big toe.

Judge is expected to play in three of the Yankees' final four spring training games and be ready to start Opening Day against the Houston Astros.

“I think we’ll be in a good spot,” Judge said. “We’re going to get my work in, like I have been the past couple weeks, and we’ll be ready to go for Opening Day.”

The 31-year-old finished last season with 98 hits, 75 RBI, 37 home runs and a .267 batting average in 106 games played. That batting average was the lowest of his career.