Mark Teixeira returned to the Yankees' lineup Friday night after missing three games with tendinitis in his surgically repaired right wrist.

Teixeira visited with his surgeon during a day off Thursday. After early batting practice Friday, he knew he was ready to go.

"It's a relief there's no structural damage," he said. "Absolutely. That's what we expected -- tendinitis, which we'll just have to continue to treat and hope it'll get better."

Teixeira said he will continue to monitor the wrist to attempt to avoid the pain he felt earlier this week.

"Pain and soreness are different," he said. "It was painful. [Now it's] just the normal soreness that you got to fight through in the year after surgery . . . You can cut down on your swings in BP -- which I've tried to do -- and take a day now and then. It's tough to do sometimes because you want to be out there every day."

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Trainer's room

The Yankees also got positive injury news on Carlos Beltran (bone spur, right elbow) and Shawn Kelley (back).

Beltran took batting practice on the field and reported he was pain-free. He is attempting to avoid surgery that would knock him out for as much as three months.

"I'm happy," he said. "These 15 days have been tough . . . The doctor said it was a 50-50 chance . I'm glad that I'm in the good 50 percent."

Joe Girardi also said he expects to use Beltran more as a DH than as a rightfielder when he returns, with Alfonso Soriano and Ichiro Suzuki getting the bulk of the work in right.

Kelley threw 25 pitches off the mound for the first time since going on the DL.

If both continue to show improvement, Girardi said he would expect them to go on a minor-league rehab assignment before returning.