Curtis Granderson, heading for Scranton, gets closer to return

Curtis Granderson stretches during a workout at spring Curtis Granderson stretches during a workout at spring training in Tampa, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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DENVER - Though Joe Girardi didn't have a specific timetable for his return to the Yankees' lineup, Curtis Granderson is making significant progress to that end.

Before Wednesday night's game, Girardi said the outfielder, who suffered a broken right forearm when he was hit by a pitch Feb. 24, is headed to Scranton / Wilkes-Barre to begin a rehab assignment with the Triple-A club after getting at-bats in a handful of extended spring games in Tampa, Fla., much of the past week.

"Everything so far is going well," Girardi said. "He'll pick it up in Scranton. He won't get as many at-bats every day but he'll see more competitive pitching and it will be a little more of a normal routine for him."

Girardi said Granderson playing nine-inning games isn't the most important aspect of his rehab.

"I'm a believer a guy doesn't have to play nine innings," Girardi said. "As long as they're playing seven back-to-back-to-back, I'm OK with that."

In an extended spring game Wednesday, Granderson was given an at-bat in each of the first four innings. He hit a 2-and-2 fastball over the fence in the second for his lone hit.

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On Tuesday Girardi said Ivan Nova (inflammation right triceps) was a candidate to start one of the doubleheader games Monday in Cleveland, but hedged after the righthander's start Wednesday in Tampa.

"He was wild," Girardi said. "I think he had four walks . . . velocity was good but I don't think he was extremely sharp."

Girardi said Kevin Youkilis (lumbar spine sprain) feels better "but he's not doing a whole lot" in Tampa.With Joey Knight in Tampa, Fla.

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