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Luis Severino will make his 2023 Yankees debut on Sunday

After missing a month and a half due to a lat strain, the one-time ace is finally set to return to New York’s beleaguered rotation.

New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino pitches during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.  Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

In a 2023 season filled with seemingly one bad injury update after another, finally New York Yankees fans get some good news: Luis Severino is set to make his season debut on Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds.

Severino has been out since late March, when the hard-throwing righty suffered a lat strain towards the end of Spring Training — the same injury that cost him two months of the 2022 season. After being shut down for several weeks, he slowly began ramping back up (sometimes a little too slowly, as far as Severino was concerned), finally taking the mound for a rehab assignment last week at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. That was followed by another appearance in Double-A on Tuesday, and apparently Severino emerged from that latest start feeling 100 percent.

If he is finally healthy — and yes, that “if” is the size of the Grand Canyon at this point — he has the potential to help turn the Yankees’ season around. Whenever Severino’s been on the mound, he’s produced, with a 3.39 ERA and 10 K/9 for his career — including a 3.18 ERA over 102 innings in between IL stints in 2022. He’s among the game’s most dynamic arms, and while he’ll likely need some time to get his legs under him (he threw just 58 pitches in his most recent Minor League outing, for starters), he’ll do wonders for a New York rotation that’s been relying on Jhony Brito, Clarke Schmidt, Domingo German and various relievers to fill in the gaps.