Mark Teixeira had fluid drained from his left knee after the Yankees' 2-1 loss on Tuesday night and was not available for Wednesday's game. He expects to play Thursday night.

Teixeira said he had been playing with the fluid in his knee "on and off for a couple of weeks" and was trying to put off the procedure as long as he could.

"It's not a fun process," Teixeira said. "Hopefully this takes care of it."

Teixeira said team doctor Chris Ahmad recommended that he undergo the procedure Tuesday night in advance of their 11-game, three-city road trip to avoid it becoming an issue while the team is on the road.

"It just slowly got worse and worse," Teixeira said. "So that's why Dr. Ahmad said we need to take care of it."

Teixeira leads the Yankees with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs but has been slumping lately with just six hits in his last 34 at-bats.

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"It's not going to keep me out for more than hopefully just today," Teixeira said. No pressure

Masahiro Tanaka takes a two-game losing streak to the mound Thursday night in Minnesota, but he said through an interpreter he feels "absolutely no pressure."

Tanaka couldn't remember the last time he lost two straight, but he said he read in a newspaper story that it was four years ago. "You're going to lose two consecutive games in a row," he said. "I mean that's the game of baseball. So what's important right now is not the fact of looking back at those two losses, but looking ahead and trying to win the next outing."

Tanaka opposes former Yankee Phil Hughes. Trainer's room

Jacoby Ellsbury was not in the lineup yesterday because he was sore "all over," Joe Girardi said. "When a guy needs a day," Girardi said, "he needs a day." Ellsbury had started 39 straight games.

Girardi also said he's stayed away from lefty Matt Thornton recently because he's been sore, but he expects him to be good to go tonightThursday night.