The 2019 season has been filled with highs for the Yankees, from DJ LeMahieu's spark at the top of the lineup, to the emergence of Gio Urshela, to Gleyber Torres' leap to stardom, among other storylines.
But it's been a frustrating campaign for Giancarlo Stanton, who's had to sit back and watch as the Yankees have slugged their way to the top of the AL East standings.
Stanton has appeared in just nine games this season, hampered by a myriad of injuries. After playing the first three games of the year against Baltimore, Stanton landed on the IL with a biceps injury. While rehabbing, he also had a shoulder issue and a calf injury that sidelined him further.
After finally making his way back to the Yankees' lineup, a sprained PCL in his right knee landed him back on the IL in late June.
On Thursday afternoon, Stanton addressed where things stand with his current rehab.
"I'm hitting and throwing now," Stanton said. "I am almost full weight on the anti-gravity treadmill, so the next step would be to start moving around outside, running outside, jogging, what have you, and then pick up baseball activities outside.
"Once I start moving around, I'll just see how it bounces back, but I do want to have a few weeks of at-bats before October for sure. … I want to be out there for a couple of weeks. Just the game routine and having as many at-bats as I can, but just the game routine for a couple of weeks."
Asked if Stanton had a date in mind for his return, the outfielder said it all depends on how his knee feels as he continues to ramp up his activity over the next couple of weeks.
"We're just waiting on this knee to be full-go, and then we'll be ready," Stanton said.
"The deadline is when my knee is ready to play Major League games … That is the deadline, not any rush past when my knee is ready."
The 29-year-old has dealt with injuries in the past during his 10-year career, but he admitted that he's never gone through a year quite like this. The least amount of games he ever played in a season, prior to this year was 74 in 2015. With 40 games remaining on the schedule, even an optimistic outlook wouldn't see him play in more 20-25 games.
Still, he insists that there's been a bright side to his season.
"It's been brutal on my side, but it's been really good to see the team playing so well," Stanton said. "That's really what's kept it not so bad for me, is just to watch everyone bringing together wins in all different types of ways. Not one hero every night, and that's what I've been focusing on, not 'Poor me,' and all that stuff."
So, while there may not be a hard deadline for his return, Stanton is still happy to be making progress.
"I'm definitely glad to be hitting and moving around," he said. "I still have a lot of work to do, but I'm definitely glad for that."