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NEW YORK -- New York Yankees slugger Juan Soto is back in the lineup on Monday, batting second and serving as the designated hitter against the Kansas City Royals. Soto had been day-to-day with left forearm inflammation and had not played since exiting Thursday's game following a 56-minute rain delay.

Tests on Friday revealed no structural damage in Soto's forearm or elbow, and he did not receive an injection. He is on medication to treat the inflammation and has not done any sort of baseball activity since Thursday.

The Yankees removed Soto from Thursday's game following a the rain delay because they did not want him to ramp back up and risk making the discomfort worse. Soto said he's been playing with the forearm issue for about a week, and that it did not happen on a specific play. He woke up one morning with discomfort and has been managing it since.

Fortunately for New York, the inflammation has not hurt Soto's performance. In his last nine games played he is 11-for-29 (.379) with two triples, three home runs, and more walks (10) than strikeouts (nine). Soto owns a .318/.424/.603 batting line with 17 home runs in his first season with the Yankees. He has been as good as ever and is a super early candidate for AL MVP.

Soto has been one of the most durable players in baseball in recent years. He played all 162 games last season and averaged 154 games in his last four 162-game seasons. Soto and Aaron Judge are on pace to be one of the most valuable teammate duos in baseball history. Needless to say, losing Soto for an extended stretch would have been a serious blow to the Yankees. All things considered, it looks like they've avoided that reality. 

The Yankees will enter their four-game series against the Royals with an American League-best 46-21 record.