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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/23/21

What’s behind Gleyber Torres’ return to form; Experts weigh in on Aaron Hicks’ injury return; Luis Severino gearing up for rehab games

MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

WFAN | Ryan Chichester: Gleyber Torres had been having a hard time recently: he wasn’t hitting, struggled in the field, and tested positive for COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated. Since his return though, he has looked as good as he ever has in Yankees pinstripes. Torres is 8-for-14 (.571) with a home run, a walk-off and six RBI since coming off the COVID IL on Wednesday. Torres says he put a lot of work in with the Yankees’ hitting coaches, who advised him on how to simplify his approach and prepare consistently. Torres’ chase rate is down in May, and he’s doing more damage in hitter’s counts, which has gone a long way in helping boost the Yankees’ offense.

New York Post | Greg Joyce: Although Aaron Boone had left the door open for a possible Aaron Hicks return this season after the center fielder suffered a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist, experts are saying that it is impossible for Hicks to return this season. A hand specialist told the New York Post that it would take a “normal person” four months to recover from this injury, but it could take Hicks six months to a year to fully regain his strength. The specialist added that if Hicks was to rush back, he could risk chronic inflammation. So, definitely add “center fielder” to the Yankees’ trade deadline shopping list this season.

SNY | Corey Hersch: From negative injury news to something more positive, Luis Severino is nearing a return to rehab games. Boone said that Severino’s simulated game on Wednesday went well, saying reports on his fastball and slider were “glowing.” On the other hand, he did not have much of an update on Darren O’Day, saying that they’ll “have to see how the next few days and weeks unfold” before committing to when he might come back. If the Yankees can get Severino back sooner than expected, it would only strengthen their surprisingly-effective rotation.