Mark Teixeira joined Jacoby Ellsbury, Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia on the sideline Tuesday night as the Yankees’ first baseman was out of the lineup against the Royals because of neck spasms.

Manager Joe Girardi said he thought Teixeira would need a “a day or two” before he can return. Dustin Ackley started at first with rookie Ben Gamel making his first career start in rightfield and Carlos Beltran as the designated hitter.

Teixeira is not believed to be a candidate for the disabled list. The same cannot be said for Ellsbury, who left Friday’s game with a sore hip. Girardi said he thought Ellsbury was going to take some swings on Wednesday.

“I think the hurdle that he really has to clear is sprinting,” Girardi said. “I think the position he plays he has to be able to run. You don’t want a centerfielder that can’t run. A catcher can hide it a little better . . . He’s got to be pretty close to 100 percent.”

If the oft-injured Ellsbury is not back by Friday, though, he could land on the DL.

“If you’re at a week and you don’t feel he’s going to be ready any time soon, you might as well just backdate it,” Girardi said.

Rodriguez, who is on the DL with a hamstring strain, made a brief appearance in the locker room before the game. But he sprinted out of the room when reporters approached — perhaps a sign of improvement.

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Sabathia, meanwhile, is out with a groin strain. Sabathia, A-Rod, Teixeira and Ellsbury are making more than a combined $90 million this season.

Starlin Castro returned to the lineup after missing a game with a rib cage injury.

Gamel goes ohfer

Gamel, who picked up his first big-league hit with a single Monday, went 0-for-4, but reached on a fielding error in the eighth inning and later scored the go-ahead run last night.