Hunter had been on the restricted list since May 14 to be with his 17-year-old son, who has been fighting sexual-assault charges in Texas. Hunter returned to Anaheim on Sunday and rejoined his teammates Monday, but the Angels wanted him to get better acclimated before being activated.
Hunter, 36 and in the final year of his contract, is batting .256 with five homers and 15 RBIs in his first 33 games. The Angels, who took a season-high seven-game winning streak into Tuesday's game, went 10-5 during Hunter's absence.
The likely outfield scenario now would have Hunter in right field, Mike Trout in center, Mark Trumbo in left, and Peter Bourjos and Kole Calhoun as backups.
The Angels played the second of a three-game series against the Yankees at Angel Stadium on Tuesday after a 9-8 walk-off victory the night before.
Hunter batted sixth and played right field on Tuesday, with Trumbo at first base and Albert Pujols starting at designated hitter for the third time this season.
"He's been grinding," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Pujols. "We just want to give him a day off his feet."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.