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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/18/21

Yankees get players back from IL; Anthony Rizzo expected to return soon, but was “knocked out” by COVID; Luis Severino’s status still unclear; Consdering the importance of Yankees-Red Sox series

Chicago White Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

ESPN: The Yankees got a boost ahead of Tuesday’s doubleheader when Jordan Montgomery and Gary Sánchez were both activated from the COVID-IL. With Gerrit Cole coming back and being tapped for the start in Monday’s game, the Yankees are getting a big boost after the string of seemingly never-ending positive cases and other injuries that have recently occurred. | Bryan Hoch: Anthony Rizzo is one of the other Yankees who’s dealt with COVID recently but is expected to return soon. He says he’s feeling better now, but the virus got him good. In addition to losing his sense of taste and smell, and felt “really tired and achy” for several days. He’s expected to return sometime in the next couple days.

New York Post | Dan Martin: On the other end of the injury spectrum is the continuing Luis Severino situation. After feeling shoulder tightness while warming up for a rehab appearance last Friday, Severino underwent on MRI and the Yankees are still waiting for news as he was set to get a second opinion. While things don’t seem great on that front and Severino will continue to be shutdown for this week, Aaron Boone did say he was not ready to proclaim that Severino’s season was over.

CBS Sports | R.J. Anderson: While it’s already two-thirds over now, here is something on how important this series is for both the Yankees and Red Sox playoff hopes. The doubleheader sweep yesterday was definitely a boost for New York, as the Yankees now suddenly hold the top Wild Card spot, percentage points ahead of Boston and half a game ahead of Oakland.

Lastly, from the minor transactions department, old friend Nick Goody is back in the Yankees’ organization. The former Major Leaguer had a 2.86 ERA in 17 games for Triple-A Scranton this season before opting out of his contract at the end of June to try and break through with the Nationals. It didn’t work, as he failed to pitch well in Rochester and was released on August 15th, so now he’s returned in Scranton.