When will Gerrit Cole return from his injury? The New York Yankees lead the American League East, but fans are still wondering when the ace will re-join the big league ball club. Cole has been battling an elbow concern, but he is hoping to return “soon,” via Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

“Gerrit Cole agrees he’ll ‘definitely' be back ‘soon.' Didn’t say for sure next start is with NYY. Will discuss next day or so but said he felt good pitching in Triple-A last night (10 K’s) and feels good today,” Heyman wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

It goes without saying, but this is a huge update. An already talented team is about to have the reigning American League Cy Young winner re-join the starting rotation. May Cole have some rust to shake off upon his initial return? Possibly, but MLB fans know just how good Cole is when he's on the mound.

In fact, Gerrit Cole is arguably the best pitcher in the entire sport. He had previously been trending in a positive direction and it now appears he will be back and pitching for the Yankees very soon.

A Gerrit Cole upgrade

New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
© Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees rotation has fared well despite the superstar's absence. The Yankees were going to have to make a difficult decision once Cole returned with all five other starters pitching well. With Clarke Schmidt being placed on the injured list, though, a spot is available at the moment.

If Schmidt did not get hurt, the Yankees would have either moved Schmidt or Luis Gil to the bullpen. But Gil has been phenomenal so he probably would have remained in the rotation.

Either way, Cole was obviously going to have a spot. The 33-year-old recorded a league-leading 2.63 ERA and 0.981 WHIP across 209 innings in 2023 en route to his first career Cy Young award. The six-time All-Star will represent an upgrade to a rotation that has been successful even without him.

Yankees are back

New York Yankees left fielder Alex Verdugo (24) and center fielder Aaron Judge (99) and right fielder Juan Soto (22) celebrate after defeating the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium.
© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York missed the postseason in 2023. In 2024, they are clearly back. The Aaron Judge and Juan Soto-led offense is tearing the cover off the baseball while the pitching, as aforementioned, is performing quite well.

The Yankees look like a legitimate contender. Will they compete for a World Series championship? Anything can happen in the postseason, of course, but right now the Yankees appear to be a Fall Classic candidate.

It will be interesting to see how Gerrit Cole performs once he returns. Again, it may take him a while to begin pitching at an elite level once again. Or perhaps Cole will find his ace-caliber form immediately. That would not be surprising given his ability on the mound.

Regardless, having Cole back in the rotation is going to be pivotal. There is no official return date for the Yankees ace yet, but one should be announced any day now. We will continue to monitor and provide updates on Gerrit Cole's injury status as they are made available.