Mark Teixeira was able to ditch the crutches he needed the previous two days, making Thursday a day of major improvement for him.

"He had a pretty significant bone bruise but he's getting better," general manager Brian Cashman said. "He's going in the right direction."

Cashman said there is still a good degree of uncertainty about Teixeira. When he left Monday's game after fouling a ball off his right knee area, Cashman said the team assumed he would be "down at least seven days unless he somehow got better quicker."

Teixeira showed up at the Stadium in severe pain Tuesday and Wednesday, but Thursday was different.

"I'm encouraged to hear he's feeling significantly better," Cashman said. "He's not on the crutches anymore, but again, he blasted it pretty good."

Joe Girardi said before the game he didn't think Teixeira was in good enough condition to pinch hit, and the disabled list can't be ruled out.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"I told you the time frame [seven days] at the front,'' Cashman said. "Clearly, we hope to beat that, but I can't tell you he will, I can't tell you he won't. I can't tell you he will be a DL, I can't tell you he won't play tomorrow. Every day we'll figure it out."

Pineda closing in

Michael Pineda, on the DL since July 30 with a right flexor strain, is scheduled to make his second rehab start Friday night and throw 60-65 pitches for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Could he rejoin the Yankees' rotation after that?

"I hope so," Cashman said. "But I don't know."

Yankees videos

Hacking away

The Yankees have interleague series with the Braves (Aug. 28-30) and Mets (Sept. 18-20) so their pitchers have been taking BP all week.