Gary Sanchez, Edwin Encarnacion on track to return before start of postseason

Gary Sanchez could return before end of regular season.|Art or Photo Credit: USA Today

Gary Sanchez, an All-Star for the second time this season, could be back with the team before the start of the postseason, Boone told reporters, and Edwin Encarnacion potentially even sooner.
The 26-year-old backstop has been sidelined with groin tightness since September 12, but was able to work out and perform base running drills in Tampa prior to the Yankees' two-game set against the Rays beginning Tuesday night.
"I was always hopeful, from day one, that I would be back," Sanchez recently told ESPN's Marly Rivera. "I knew that because our trainers do tremendous work and I knew they were going to be able to put me in the position of how I feel right now. I feel very good, and all I need is to be ready for the playoffs."
Boone faces the tricky task of navigating his club to as many wins as possible over their final five games with the hopes of securing home-field advantage, while simultaneously preserving the health of his roster for the postseason. 
When it comes to Sanchez, "I'm optimistic that there's a chance that he could be back at some point in that Texas series," Boone said.
In 104 games, Sanchez has slashed .233/.318/.531 with 34 homers and 77 RBI. Even with as many games as Sanchez has missed due to injury this year, his home run and RBI totals lead all American League catchers.
Another major boost for the Yankees will be the return of Encarnacion, who could be back in the lineup by midweek this week, Boone said.
The veteran first baseman and designated hitter suffered a strained left oblique on September 12 in Detroit, but was working out and took batting practice Monday in Tampa.
"I feel pretty good that it will certainly be the games in Arlington, it could even be Tampa," Boone told reporters. "We'll see whether it's midweek or the weekend; feel like he's on track for that."
After landing in the Bronx via trade from the Seattle Mariners in mid-June, Edwin has made his presence felt in the middle of the lineup with 13 home runs, 37 RBI and a slash line of .249/.325/.531 over his 44 games in pinstripes.
The Bombers locked up their first AL East division title in seven years back on September 19, but are still battling the Houston Astros for the best record in the majors as the regular season winds to a close.
As the 2017 ALCS proved, home-field advantage is a potentially make-or-break factor in a postseason series against a powerhouse team like the Astros, so both teams will be looking to win every game they can before October arrives.
Stay tuned to YES Network for the latest news and developments on Sanchez, Encarnacion and the rest of the Bombers as they look to make their charge into the postseason.