Stephen Drew's season is more than likely over.

The issues with balance and dizziness that have plagued the Yankees starting second baseman for nearly three weeks are not improving. And now manager Joe Girardi appears to have moved on from the idea that Drew could return or play in the postseason.

"My thought is we haven't really seen any improvement for these 10 days to two weeks. I don't know what's really going to turn it around," Girardi said Tuesday. "I think right now, we're kind of planning as if we're not going to have him."

Drew was asked how he felt about the prospect that he will not be able to play again and replied: "Not good. I know it's to that point, and it's kind of disheartening. But at the same time, I've got to get this thing under control. That's the No. 1 goal . . . We're talking about everyday life where it's constantly with me through the day."

Drew has 17 home runs, but hot-hitting Dustin Ackley has filled the void. He started at second base in Tuesday's 10-4 loss and hit a two-run home run, his second homer in as many games and third in four contests. For the month of September, he is batting .317 with nine RBIs. Righthanded-hitting rookie Rob Refsnyder may get the start Wednesday with Boston throwing lefthander Wade Miley.

Drew had more tests Tuesday -- an MRI exam of his brain -- because doctors were, as he said, "checking for some kind of serious stuff." The MRI did not show any, Drew said.

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In 2012, Drew was hit in the head with a 96-mph fastball during spring training with the Diamondbacks and did not return until the last days of June. The injury threw off his vestibular system, which is essential for one's equilibrium, and made him more susceptible to future concussions, he said.

He was beset by a sinus infection at the start of the month that filled his ears with fluid and affected his balance, he explained. While trying to play through it -- during the Sept. 12 doubleheader against Toronto at the Stadium -- he had a ground ball deflect off his glove and hit him in the head.

"I am more susceptible. Once I had that [2012] -- it was really severe -- to have it again is very possible," Drew said. "You go back to the play where the ball deflected off my glove and hit me in the face: I don't think much of that, I keep playing [and] it just progressively gets worse.

"It's that play. There's nothing in my season [where] I got hit in the head or anything like that. It was just that play."

Both Girardi and Drew are holding out a sliver of hope that the symptoms clear quickly. It might give him the chance to shake off the rust of not starting a game since Sept. 15 by playing before a possible wild-card game.

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"I'm sure we definitely would think about it," Girardi said. "Before he started going through this, he was playing great. This is unfortunate."

Drew said: "If I come back in two or three days and this is gone, praise god, and then I can get going. Right now, the No. 1 step is to get this under control."