Boone: Stanton shows improvement, 'pretty close' to return
Jim McIsaac / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Giancarlo Stanton's quadriceps injury has forced him to the bench for the last three games, but New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the slugger is "pretty close" to being available as the team's designated hitter, according to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic.

Stanton tested his quad with trainers and participated in multiple baserunning drills prior to Thursday's game.

Edwin Encarnacion continues to serve as the DH in Game 4, with Stanton on the bench for the third straight contest.

Boone said Thursday was the first time that Stanton has shown signs of improvement since the injury, but added that he's still not an option in the outfield, according to Adler.

Stanton spent the majority of the regular season on the injured list due to biceps and knee injuries, missing all but 18 games.

He went 2-for-4 in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series and hit a key solo home run off of Zack Greinke in the sixth inning to put the team up 3-0. Stanton also appeared in each of the three games against the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS, going 1-for-6 with four walks.

Boone: Stanton shows improvement, 'pretty close' to return
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