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Aaron Boone Details Plan For Matt Carpenter's Return From Foot Fracture

Carpenter hasn't played since August 8 when he fouled a ball off his back foot in Seattle, landing on the injured list.
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NEW YORK — Matt Carpenter was among the Yankees taking batting practice on the field at Yankee Stadium on Friday afternoon, starting with some light hacks before cutting loose in his final few rounds, swatting home runs into the right-field bleachers. 

The Yankees were always hopeful that Carpenter would be able to return from his fractured left foot before the end of this year, an injury the slugger sustained on August 8 in Seattle. Now, barring any setbacks, it sure seems like that plan is coming to reality.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Friday that Carpenter is "doing really well" in his rehab, ready to start hitting and mixing in baseball activities.

The skipper explained that New York has two options over the final six days of the regular season when it comes to the 36-year-old. Either Carpenter can return from the IL and get some in-game action under his belt while the Yankees are in Texas, wrapping up the regular season with a series against the Rangers. Or, Carpenter would focus on getting ready behind the scenes, facing live pitching and building up for the American League Championship Series. 

Either way, Carpenter will have five days from Game 162 on October 5 until Game 1 of the ALDS on October 11, a stretch where New York will hold a handful of workouts at Yankee Stadium.

"We're getting an alternate site set up at Somerset where we have a number of pitchers there, position players," Boone said. "They'll be people we draw from when we get back from Texas for those workouts so we'll have scenarios set up. We do feel like Matt will be in play potentially in Texas, but I think we're going to weigh does it make more sense to have him come there and maybe get a pinch-hit at-bat or two or three, or does it make more sense to start getting live ABs in Somerset and have him potentially [leading] into the Division Series scenario with 7-to-10 days of a lot of live at-bats.

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"I think we're probably leaning more that way, but we'll continue to talk through that. This week's been really encouraging for him."

Boone, Carpenter and the coaching staff have a few more days before they need to make that call. Either way, their surprise slugger is positioning himself to play a role as New York embarks on what they hope will be a long postseason run.

Carpenter hit .305/.412/.727 with 15 home runs and 37 RBI in 47 games played this summer before he got hurt. Time will tell if he can recapture that stunning form when he returns, but you can't put anything past him. This is a veteran that was close to hanging it up for good, signing a deal with the Yankees in May as one last-ditch effort to revive his career after beginning the season with Triple-A Round Rock in the Rangers organization. 

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