Sports

Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu playing through injury that might require surgery

BOSTON — For most of Sunday night, it looked like the hip and groin discomfort that’s bothering DJ LeMahieu and may result in offseason surgery wasn’t much of a factor.

Then came the bottom of the seventh, when LeMahieu dropped a foul pop to extend the inning and the Red Sox scored a run before the Yankees came back and won, 6-3.

Prior to that miscue, LeMahieu had shaken off his recent poor play and was excellent at third base and delivered a key hit. He later walked and scored the tying run in the eighth.

After sitting Saturday due to the injury, LeMahieu was back in the lineup and at third base on Sunday despite both he and Boone acknowledging the injury is something he’ll have to deal with as the Yankees keep their season alive.

“It’s mostly something I’ll worry about after the season,’’ LeMahieu said.

Asked if it could be something that required surgery, LeMahieu said, “Not sure yet.”

He’s had an MRI exam and the results are still being discussed. The best remedy at this point might be rest, which is something LeMahieu and the Yankees can’t afford, as they fight for a wild-card spot.

LeMahieu moved well enough Sunday to make a solid play down the line on a Hunter Renfroe grounder to end the third. His two-out RBI single in the fifth gave the Yankees the lead and then he started a 5-4-3 double play on Christian Vazquez’s hard grounder in the bottom of the fifth.

DJ LeMahieu made an impressive fielding play during Sunday’s game.

LeMahieu was expected to be a stabilizing force in the Yankee lineup again this season after he was signed to a six-year, $90 million contract in the offseason.

Instead, he’s struggled for much of the season and been bothered for at least a few weeks by an unspecified injury that caused Aaron Boone to rest him in Saturday’s win over the Red Sox.

The discomfort impacts LeMahieu’s ability to move around and it’s something that’s bothered him “for a little while.”

“The last few weeks it hasn’t felt great,’’ LeMahieu said.

DJ LeMahieu
Charles Wenzelberg/Gist Vile

And while it limits him, LeMahieu has remained a constant in the lineup, most recently at third base, having moved there after Gleyber Torres was shifted from shortstop to second base and Gio Urshela to short.

LeMahieu also dealt with an injured triceps earlier in the season that made it more difficult for him to play third base, but he’s fared adequately defensively.

At the plate, though, LeMahieu has been far off what he displayed in his first two seasons in The Bronx.

He’ll continue to get opportunities to try to turn it around, though his physical issues will likely make that more difficult.

“I think it’s something he’ll just deal with the rest of the season and hope we manage it well,’’ Boone said. “It impacts him a little bit overall … I don’t want to get into it too much.”

Asked if he was “confident’’ it was something LeMahieu could play through successfully, Boone said, “We’ll see. We’ll see. I’m confident he’s about as tough as they come. And I know he can play through things. He’s done that and shown that and proved that to us the last few seasons with us. He can navigate through stretches where he’s a little beat up and this is another one of those. I’m confident he can tolerate and he can manage not being 100 percent and still play really well.”

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