First things first. Mark Teixeira says he's "100 percent" convinced he'll play again this year.

The qualifier?

The first baseman, out of the starting lineup except for one game since Aug. 17 with a right shin bone bruise, has no idea when that return will be.

He still is on crutches, though he hopes to shed them sometime this weekend.

"We really don't [have a timetable],'' said Teixeira, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday. That was largely a clerical move so the Yankees could recall reliever Nick Rumbelow from Triple-A.

Teixeira was put on crutches Aug. 18, the day he initially was diagnosed with the bruise. He now believes he pushed things too soon thereafter, never allowing it to properly heal. "We just kind of underestimated it a little bit," he said.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Earlier, he said: "Hopefully we have two months of the season left so there's plenty of time for me to get healthy and get back.''

Of proceeding as if he won't get Teixeira back this season, Joe Girardi said, "I'm not ready to do that yet.''

He added, "I really think we'll get him back. I don't have anything that someone said he'll definitely be back in this many days or that many days, I just have that feeling we'll get him back."

CC you Wednesday

CC Sabathia (right knee inflammation) threw a 62-pitch simulated game Friday. If he feels good the next couple of days, Girardi said the plan is to reinsert him into the rotation Wednesday against the Orioles.

Yankees videos

"Felt good, no pain, and I tested it pretty good," said Sabathia, who wore a new brace on the knee instead of the sleeve he had been wearing and thought it allowed him to move more nimbly. "I'm excited."

No one will be dropped from the rotation for now. With the team facing 13 straight games, Girardi said the plan is for Sabathia to be a sixth starter and added, "We'll insert him to give everyone an extra day's rest."