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Hicks to be activated Friday, Bird and Castro beginning rehab assignments

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The Yankees received some much-needed good news prior to Wednesday night’s game, as three of their sorely missed players are¬†close to returning from injury.

Outfielder Aaron Hicks will be activated from the disabled list on Friday, while first baseman Greg Bird and second baseman Starlin Castro will begin rehab assignments next week. All of this news comes courtesy of¬†a tweet from¬†MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

Bird being ahead of Castro is surprising.¬†Just a few weeks ago, Bird¬†underwent ankle surgery and made¬†general manager Brian Cashman all but declare his season over. Obviously, if he’s starting a rehab assignment next week,¬†Bird must be feeling¬†great and could very likely be back in the big leagues before September.

As for Castro, he re-aggravated his hamstring and was placed on the disabled list on July 22. DL stints aside, he’s had a fantastic season, hitting .307/.344/.472 with 12 home runs, earning himself an All-Star nod.

There are many reasons for the Yankees struggling the way they have, but Hicks, Bird and Castro sitting on the shelf may be the biggest one. When the lineup was healthy and firing on all cylinders, they outslugged just about every team in the American League. Hopefully all three of them return and play up to their potential, because the Yankees are in desperate need of an offensive boost.