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New York Yankees activate DJ LeMahieu (toe) off injured list

NEW YORK -- The Yankees activated infielder DJ LeMahieu off the injured list, a move that could play a major role in the postseason fate of the club.

LeMahieu has dealt with a lingering toe inflammation, which has sapped his power and landed him on the injured list in early September.

While the focus on the Yankees centers around Aaron Judge's home run chase, the return of LeMahieu will have much bigger implications for October. How LeMahieu fares over the final seven games of the season will determine the ceiling of the Yankees offense in October.

To make room for LeMahieu on the roster, the Yankees demoted outfielder Tim Locastro, who has been used as a pinch runner and defensive replacement.

Prior to landing on the injured list, LeMahieu struggled, hitting 10-for-78 with no extra-base hits over his last 20 games. LeMahieu said if the toe prevented him from getting his swing off, "then I'm kind of useless."

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he would be cautious with LeMahieu in his return on Friday, stating the infielder may play part of the game rather than a full nine innings.