CHICAGO — Anthony Rizzo's historic start to his Yankees career came to an abrupt halt last weekend when the first baseman tested positive for COVID-19.
Now, the slugger is inching closer to his return from the COVID-19 injured list, getting ready to rejoin his new teammates in the Bronx on Monday.
"He was feeling a lot better yesterday. We're hoping that he goes through his cardiac workup in the morning and potentially be working out with us at Yankee Stadium tomorrow," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Sunday afternoon. "That's the hope. We'll see about 24 hours from now if that's reality."
Rizzo was among the latest group of Yankees players to test positive for the virus, part of New York's third outbreak of the season. The first baseman has been sidelined since August 8.
Over Rizzo's first six games with the Yankees—after he was acquired from the Cubs prior to the trade deadline—the lefty hit .400 (8-for-20) with six RBI. He was the first player in franchise history to drive in a run in each of his first six games in a Yankees uniform.
His official return from the COVID-19 injured list won't come for another few days, especially considering Rizzo dealt with symptoms of the virus and will need to ramp up in baseball activity. Nonetheless, Boone seemed encouraged about Rizzo's status as he starts to "turn a corner."
"Let's see where he's at and kind of feel where he's at physically," Boone said Saturday. "He hasn't been able to do a lot in the first five or six days of being out. But I know he feels like the last day or two is really starting to turn a corner. So hopefully he can start ramping up some of this activity."
Rizzo isn't the only player on the COVID-19 injured list that's nearing his return. Gerrit Cole is expected to start on Monday at Yankee Stadium against the Angels with Jordan Montgomery pitching the following day against the Red Sox.
Meanwhile, Gary Sánchez begins his rehab assignment with Double-A Somerset on Sunday. Boone said the backstop could be back with the Yankees as early as Tuesday depending on how well his first in-game action goes.
Finally, right-hander Clay Holmes is still in Kansas City where he landed on the COVID IL, showing symptoms during the Yankees' series against the Royals. On Saturday, Boone said the reliever is a few days away from returning to New York and starting to ramp up with the big-league club.
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