DJ LeMahieu’s foot scare adds to growing list of Yankees injury concerns

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Add DJ LeMahieu to the Yankees’ list of potential health concerns as spring training enters its final week.

LeMahieu underwent X-rays on his right foot that came back negative Saturday after fouling a ball off himself in the Yankees’ win over the Blue Jays.

The veteran third baseman was clearly in pain but remained in the game to hit a single and ran the bases before being removed for a pinch hitter the next inning while the rest of the Yankees’ regulars each got one more at-bat.

On Sunday morning, LeMahieu was “still sore” when he reported to the Yankees’ facility, manager Aaron Boone said.

DJ LeMahieu throws the ball to first base in the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during a 2024 Grapefruit League Spring Training game on March 8, 2024 in Dunedin, Florida.

“Hopefully it’s just a day-to-day thing,” Boone said before the Yankees’ 12-6 loss to the Red Sox at JetBlue Park. “But he got it pretty good.”

LeMahieu was getting treatment when the Yankees left for Fort Myers, a trip LeMahieu was not scheduled to make anyway.

The right foot is the same one LeMahieu has had issues with in recent seasons after breaking a bone in his big toe and sustaining ligament damage in his second toe late in 2022.

Aaron Judge also stayed back in Tampa, where he was scheduled to hit inside again for a third straight day.

Sunday’s work was expected to include facing high velocity off a machine in his latest step back from an abdominal issue.

“I don’t think [hitting] inside or outside matters that much,” Boone said.

DJ LeMahieu hit 15 homeruns and recorded 44 RBIs last season.

The manager indicated Judge has responded well to the increased workload after resuming hitting on Friday.

“I did call and check on that, how was he when he came in [Sunday morning], they said he seemed really good, was getting ready to go out and hit,” Boone said.

In his first live batting practice of the spring Sunday, Tommy Kahnle threw 20 pitches, mixing in fastballs, sliders and changeups, and came away pleased.

“Felt good,” Kahnle said at Steinbrenner Field. “Arm felt good, shoulder felt good, body felt good.”

Until now, Kahnle only had thrown bullpen sessions and is behind because of the shoulder inflammation that cut short his season last year. The inflammation did not subside until about mid-December, which delayed his throwing program.

Boone said Kahnle might need up to three or four live sessions before he would be ready to get into a game, though time is running out for those to be Grapefruit League games. The likelihood is the 34-year-old righty will not be ready for the start of the season, but Kahnle is holding out hope.

“I know it’s going to be close. That’s all I know,” Kahnle said.

“Today’s another big step for him,” added Boone.

After Sunday’s game, the Yankees optioned outfielder Everson Pereira to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 22-year-old was a late-season call-up last year but showed he still needed some development in the minors before he gets back to the big leagues.

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