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Cervelli undergoes tests at Stadium

New York Yankees' Francisco Cervelli #17 hits a

New York Yankees' Francisco Cervelli #17 hits a two-run home run off Toronto Blue Jays' Ricky Romero in the second inning at Yankee Stadium in New York. (Sept. 3, 2011) Photo Credit: John Dunn

Francisco Cervelli, who said he has been free of concussion-related symptoms for three days, underwent tests Monday at Yankee Stadium to see if he can resume physical activity. The Yankees' backup catcher has been sidelined since Sept. 8 with the third -- and longest-lingering -- concussion of his career.

"I think the last two concussions were one or two days," he said. "Right now, it was like a week with [feeling] dizzy and feeling weird. I never had that before."

Cervelli was injured in a home-plate collision with Baltimore's Nick Markakis. He stayed in the game, flew with the team from Baltimore to Anaheim and was in the original lineup for the next two games before getting scratched both times.

At that point, the Yankees sent Cervelli back to New York, where he was examined by Dr. Kirk Roberts, a neurologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital who specializes in concussion syndromes. Cervelli was diagnosed with a concussion and placed on the disabled list.

Though it might seem like a bad idea for Cervelli to have made two cross-country flights with a concussion, an expert in the field said that's not necessarily so.

"There's no science out there to suggest that flying in a plane after a concussion is going to make it worse," said David Hovda, director of UCLA's Brain Injury Research Center.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the Yankees followed every protocol with Cervelli. He is not eligible to play again until Sunday, which puts his postseason roster spot in jeopardy. If he can't go, Austin Romine is likely to replace him.

As for Cervelli avoiding future concussions, he joked, "I think I'm going to wear a hockey mask with spikes." Asked about playing again this season, he said, "I pray every day for that."

Extra bases

Curtis Granderson hit his 41st home run in the first, a two-run shot off lefthander Scott Diamond. It was his MLB-best 16th homer off a lefty . . . Cory Wade (6-1) got the win. With Jim Baumbach


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