The Yankees’ already strong lineup is about to get a major piece back in the mix.

Third baseman Gio Urshela began a rehab assignment with Double-A Somerset on Sunday, and looked good at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double.

According to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, Urshela will play another game for the Patriots on Tuesday night, and if all goes well, he should be able to rejoin the big-league club when they head out west on Thursday to take on the Oakland Athletics for a crucial four-game set.

With the Athletics currently on the outside of the American League playoff picture—2.5 games back of the Yankees for the top Wild Card spot and a half game back of the Red Sox for the second slot—this series has serious postseason implications on the line and the Bronx Bombers will need all of the help they can get in order to hold onto and pad their lead.

Urshela landed on the injured list on August 3 with a left hamstring strain, which came just a little over a week after he returned from the COVID-19 injured list that kept him out for nine days.

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In Urshela’s absence, the Yankees have been on fire, winning 10 games in a row and 17 of their last 20 to skyrocket up the standings, solidifying themselves as serious playoff contenders.

And had they not acquired Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo at the trade deadline, the Yankees might not have been able to survive Urshela being on the shelf for so long. Alas, the addition of the latter two All-Stars has rejuvenated the Yankees’ lineup, and even with Rizzo going on the COVID-IL, Luke Voit reemerged as an impact bat, and is red-hot at the plate as well.

Not to mention, the Yankees have received major contributions from Tyler Wade and Andrew Velazquez, which has helped fill the void in the infield with Urshela and Gleyber Torres on the IL.

Now, with Urshela’s return looming, it will only make the Yankees that much scarier, as they look to make the postseason for the fifth straight season.

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