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Teixeira says he's OK after being hit in elbow by fastball

SARASOTA, Fla. - Mark Teixeira sat in the clubhouse last night with his right arm covered in a bulky Yankees sweatshirt, his elbow packed in ice underneath. And he felt exceedingly fortunate. "I was lucky here," he said.

Six days before the season opener, the Yankees got a scare when Teixeira took Jeremy Guthrie's fastball squarely on the right elbow.

Teixeira, who hopped around in pain for several moments and immediately feared the worst, was diagnosed with a right elbow contusion. X-rays were not taken at Ed Smith Stadium.

"It looked pretty nasty," he said of the bruise. "Hopefully, it doesn't get too bad tonight, but tomorrow will be a nice long treatment day.''

He was evaluated by Orioles team orthopedist Tim Johnson and will be reevaluated Tuesday by the Yankees, who have split-squad games against the Braves (in Orlando at 1:05 p.m.) and the Blue Jays (in Tampa at 7:05 p.m.). Teixeira was scheduled to play in the night game.

Joe Girardi said he will hold Teixeira out Tuesday and tomorrow. "We'll shoot for Thursday," Girardi said of when he expects Teixeira to play again.

Guthrie battled command problems all night in the Yankees' 11-7 victory. After Guthrie hit Francisco Cervelli on the right forearm in the fourth inning, Girardi could be seen gesturing and shouting in what seemed to be the pitcher's direction. He made it clear he didn't think Guthrie was throwing at anyone, but . . .

"You're having a hard time commanding your fastball inside, I don't think this is the time to be working on it," Girardi said. "They might disagree, but this is too valuable a time for guys on their side, guys on our side, and he was struggling with his command today. I don't want to see any of our guys get hurt."

After leaving the game, Teixeira sat in the clubhouse with his elbow elevated and packed in ice. "It's just going to be sore for a couple days,'' he said. "I'll just get treatment all day tomorrow, reassess it on Wednesday, at the very least play Thursday. I'll just miss a day or two.''

He added, "Any time you get hit on a bone, whether it's a foul ball off your ankle or off your knee or you're hit on your elbow or hit on your wrist or your hand, you always worry. But I was lucky here.''

Teixeira singled to right in the first inning against Guthrie and scored on Robinson Cano's three-run homer. In the second, after Nick Johnson walked, Guthrie drilled Teixeira on the right elbow with a fastball.

He hopped around in pain and ripped off his batting helmet, nearly spiking it into the dirt in anger before deciding against it. Girardi and trainer Steve Donohue quickly sprinted out of the dugout to tend to the first baseman. After a short discussion, Girardi removed him.

David Winfree pinch ran for Teixeira and took over at first. His three-run homer in the top of the sixth gave the Yankees an 8-4 lead.

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