Sources: Chapman cleared to return to Yankees

    Marly Rivera is a writer for and

The New York Yankees will no longer have any players on the COVID-19 injured list after closer Aroldis Chapman was cleared to return to the team, sources told ESPN on Friday.

Chapman became the Yankees’ third major leaguer to test positive for COVID-19 on July 11, back at the start of “summer camp.”

All-Star infielder DJ LeMahieu and pitcher Luis Cessa also tested positive before heading to New York to complete the intake testing protocols. Both had already been cleared by the team, and LeMahieu made his season debut July 25.

In Chapman’s case, he had passed all intake testing and was allowed to report to workouts at Yankee Stadium before testing positive for the novel coronavirus during the monitoring phase.

The Yankees, who continue to have one of the deepest relief corps in the majors, have won four of their first five games of the 2020 season without Chapman. Zack Britton closed out two of those games.

Nonetheless, the Yankees’ bullpen will remain shorthanded given the fact that Tommy Kahnle is not available due to undisclosed reasons.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone opted to use pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga in a spot usually reserved for Kahnle during Thursday’s game night in Baltimore. Boone only said the 30-year-old Kahnle wasn’t available.

“We’ll have something on that [Friday],” Boone said.

Kahnle has pitched only one inning this season, throwing 20 pitches and striking out three batters in a 3-2 win over the defending champion Washington Nationals on Sunday.

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