Yankees are having a tough time explaining Giancarlo Stanton's latest injury

Giancarlo Stanton’s return to the New York Yankees lineup has been delayed once again.

On Wednesday, the team announced its slugging designated hitter has been diagnosed with a mild left calf strain while on a rehab assignment with the Tampa Tarpons, the Yankees’ high A-Ball affiliate.

The new injury — Stanton’s third already this season — will extend his absence until mid-June. So far, Stanton has been limited to three MLB games this season. He’s gone 2-for-8 with seven walks, but has yet to hit an extra-base hit.

The Yankees were hoping to have Stanton back as early as this weekend. Now they’re dealing with a new injury that is proving difficult to explain.

How did Stanton's new injury occur?

Stanton believes he first hurt his calf last Thursday after being hit by a pitch near his left knee during a live batting practice session.

Speaking to the media before Wednesday's game against the Baltimore Orioles, Yankees manager Aaron Boone echoed Stanton’s explanation. However, Boone and Yankees beat writers alike were struggling to make the correlation.

For what it’s worth, Stanton was in Tampa’s lineup Monday, going 1-for-3 with a home run and two strikeouts in his first official rehab game. However, he was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup when the calf tightened up.

Some have theorized that Stanton is actually dealing with swelling resulting from a bruise. Others have suggested that Stanton overcompensated for the soreness stemming from being hit by the pitch.

This isn’t to say the Yankees are hiding anything, but it seems the exact how’s and why’s will remain something of a mystery.

The good news is that this injury seems to be relatively minor. Nonetheless, fans have to be wondering if they’ll ever see a completely healthy version of Stanton in 2019.

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Giancarlo Stanton through his career
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Giancarlo Stanton through his career
JUPITER, FL - MARCH 01: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Miami Marlins runs during a workout at Roger Dean Stadium on March l, 2012 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 14: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Miami Marlins looks on prior to a MLB game against the Houston Astros at Marlins Park on April 14, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
May 2, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) breaks his bat after connecting for an RBI single during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 14, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; National League outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) of the Miami Marlins hits a home run in the first round during the 2014 Home Run Derby the day before the MLB All Star Game at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
May 4, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) is unable to field a double from Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Andre Ethier (not pictured) during the ninth inning at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 14, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; National League outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) of the Miami Marlins reacts as he bats in the first round during the 2014 Home Run Derby the day before the MLB All Star Game at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 25, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) celebrates with teammates after hitting a three-run home run during the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) is carted off the field after getting hit by a pitch in the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 19, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton smiles during a press conference at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 25, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (middle) waves to the crowd as he is awarded the Hank Aaron Award by newly elected commissioner Rob Manfred (left) and Hank Aaron before game four of the 2014 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 29, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run during the first inning against the New York Mets at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 11, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; National League outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) of the Miami Marlins reacts as he bats in the quarterfinals during the All Star Game home run derby at PetCo Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 11, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; National League outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) of the Miami Marlins holds the trophy after winning the All Star Game home run derby at PetCo Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 20, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) is unable to make a catch off of Washington Nationals second baseman Stephen Drew (not pictured) during the first inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) is seen wearing Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez number on his jersey while walking back to the dugout during the first inning against New York Mets at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 19, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Miami Marlins designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) celebrates his solo home run against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 10, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; National League outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) of the Miami Marlins during batting practice one day before the 2017 MLB All Star Game at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 10, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) celebrates with Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon (9) after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning during a game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 25, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) rounds the bases after hitting a two run home in the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 25, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; From left Miami Marlins player Giancarlo Stanton , MLB commissioner Rob Manfred , Hank Aaron and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve at the Hank Aaron Award press conference before game two of the 2017 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EST and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Tuesday, October 24 included Ted Danson ('The Good Place'), Giancarlo Stanton and musical guest Chris Young. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) GIANCARLO STANTON, JIMMY KIMMEL
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees in action against the Baltimore Orioles during a game at Yankee Stadium on April 5, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees in action against the Baltimore Orioles during a game at Yankee Stadium on April 5, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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Giancarlo Stanton's 2019 injuries

Stanton is one of several Yankees players to hit the injured list in 2019. His situation is unique though because he's been sidelined by three different injuries.

Stanton was first placed on the injured list on April 1 with a strained left biceps. On April 24, he developed shoulder soreness that shut him down for another three weeks.

Details on Stanton’s first two injuries were also vague, though it’s obvious neither were too serious. What is serious is that Stanton has never really been the definition of durable. He’s played more than 123 games only four times in 10 MLB seasons.

When healthy, Stanton’s an impact player. He won the National League MVP award in 2017 after leading the league with 59 homers and 132 RBI. He played another full season in 2018, leading the Yankees with 38 home runs.

Somehow, the Yankees have managed to survive without Stanton, Aaron Judge, Luis Severino and a host of other key players. They’re currently leading the AL East by two games behind their 30-17 record. Sooner or later though, they’re going to need Stanton and company back healthy and productive.

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