The Didi Gregorius problem won’t go away all year

Didi Gregorius ran lightly for the first time since suffering a bruised left heel on Aug. 20. The shortstop and the Yankees are optimistic he will be able to return to the lineup soon — with the weekend seeming like a possibility.

But Gregorius added he will have to deal with discomfort for the rest of the season, even after he’s off the disabled list.

“I still feel it and it’s gonna be there,” Gregorius said before the Yankees’ 4-1 loss to the White Sox Wednesday night at the Stadium. “It’s a little bit better and it’s nothing I can’t handle.”

Gregorius spent part of his time before the game fielding grounders and taking batting practice — neither of which he had done until Wednesday.

Boone said they’ll know more about whether Gregorius needs any rehab games by Thursday or Friday.

“I don’t think it’s a given by any means,” the manager said. “We’ll see how the next few days unfold. It seems like he’s making positive steps every day. I’m optimistic he’s not too far off, but we’ll also listen to the body.”

Gary Sanchez went 0-for-4 and caught nine innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as he comes back from a strained groin. In the same game, Chance Adams gave up a pair of hits in 1 ¹/₃ innings in his second relief appearance before a possible September call-up to the bullpen, along with lefty Justus Sheffield.

Giancarlo Stanton started in right field for a second straight game for the first time since the Yankees played a pair of games in Miami on Aug. 21 and 22, when the designated hitter was not an option.

“It’s something I’m mindful of, but it’s been tough lately with our situation and how banged up we are and how productive he’s been, even though he’s struggled the last few games,’’ Boone said of Stanton, who went 0-for-3 with a walk and has been nursing a tight hamstring for nearly a month. “I feel like physically he’s good and strong. … I want to preserve him for the stretch run, but obviously these are really important games.”

Boone said Wednesday was a light day of rehab for Aaron Judge (right wrist chip fracture).

Little League sensation Alfred Delia, the slugger from Middletown, N.J., who became famous for saying his nickname was “Big Al” and he “hit dingers” during the Little League World Series, was on the field and met several Yankees before Wednesday’s game. Included in that group was Aaron Hicks, who took batting practice wearing a T-shirt that said “Big Al Hits Dingers.”

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