MINNEAPOLIS -- Barring an overnight setback, Alex Rodriguez will make his return to the lineup at third base Sunday afternoon.

"I think we all feel that way," A-Rod said before Saturday night's game here. "My mouth is getting watery here. I'm ready to play. I've watched enough baseball."

For a second straight day, Rodriguez, who has not played since July 7, went through a full on-field workout: running in the outfield, taking batting practice and ground balls and, most important, running first to third.

"We've checked every box pretty much," he said.

Joe Girardi watched the workout, which took place five hours before first pitch, along with most of his coaching staff.

"He was really good today, very pleased with what we saw," Girardi said. "The only way I wouldn't [play him] would be if he came in and said, 'I don't feel good today.' It's very possible he'll be a player for us tomorrow."

Rodriguez, who played Tuesday and Wednesday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, said he recovered fairly well from Friday's strenuous workout, which gives him reason to believe he'll be good to go Sunday.

"Sometimes when you play in Triple-A, you may get one ball, or miss two fly balls," he said in reference to the two pop-ups he misplayed Tuesday. "But the one thing we were able to do here is we were able to go first to third full speed. Those are things I'm encouraged by."

It has been somewhat of an odd rehab stretch for Rodriguez this week as he played the two games in Scranton before joining the Yankees in Minneapolis, not to be immediately activated but to work out. Rodriguez said that was because he wanted to work with the Yankees coaches, be seen by trainer Gene Monahan, as well as the team's director of strength and conditioning, Dana Cavalea.

"He just felt he needed to get with our people," Girardi said. "From what I've seen from Thursday to Saturday, I think it was real beneficial."

Laffey arrives. Aaron Laffey, claimed Friday off waivers from the Mariners, was in uniform (No. 39) Saturday night. The native of Cumberland, Md., sounded like new teammate Mark Teixeira, who grew up outside of Baltimore, saying his favorite team was the Yankees and favorite player was Don Mattingly.

Laffey, 26, was 1-1 with a 4.01 ERA in 36 appearances with the Mariners. Righties hit .343 against him; lefties .250. He was 1-1 with a 1.87 ERA in 27 appearances before the All-Star break before things came apart.

"I'm just looking forward to coming here and starting fresh again and getting back into that rhythm," Laffey said.

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