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Girardi taking it slow with Yanks catcher Cervelli

New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli (29) is

New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli (29) is hit by a pitch in the third inning of the Yankees 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates during their spring training baseball home opener at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., Wednesday, March 3, 2010. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli told manager Joe Girardi Sunday that he was feeling fine after suffering a concussion Saturday. But the plan still is to take it slow.

Cervelli, who suffered the concussion when he was hit in the head by a pitch from the Blue Jays' Zech Zinicola, saw Yankees physician Andrew Boyer in Tampa Sunday and will visit a neurologist Monday.

"Tomorrow's a big test for him to see how he's doing," Girardi said after the Yankees' 11-0 loss to the Twins.

Girardi said he knows players often will not be completely honest with a manager or coach, especially in the case of head injuries. Girardi said that will be discussed with Cervelli.

"I will do that tomorrow," Girardi said. "And I want to hear what the neurologist says before I make any decisions."

Cervelli suffered a concussion in winter ball in November when he was hit in the head with a bat, and Girardi said he's well aware of the issues relating to multiple concussions in the NFL.

"It's a big concern," he said. "It's scary. I think it's good that we pay much more attention than we used to. Used to say, 'Oh, well, I got hit in the head.' Now they understand that there's serious ramifications and you have to be careful. Hopefully, he'll be back in a couple days, but we'll be cautious."

 

Serge surge

Sergio Mitre started yesterday's game and tossed three scoreless innings. That comes on the heels of Wednesday's opener, in which he threw two scoreless innings.

"I do feel a lot better right now," said Mitre, who had Tommy John surgery in the summer of 2008 and served a 50- game suspension at the start of last season for testing positive for a banned substance. "Just to have that offseason I didn't have last year, I do feel stronger right now. Everything's clicking pretty good right now."

 

Extra bases

Nick Johnson (stiff lower back) did not travel but took batting practice in Tampa and will be in the split-squad lineup Monday against the Phillies at home . . . Andy Pettitte threw a two-inning simulated game (36 pitches) at Steinbrenner Field, facing Colin Curtis and Randy Winn . . . Mariano Rivera, Damaso Marte and Chan Ho Park will throw their first live BP sessions of spring training Monday . . . Robinson Cano had two hits, giving him five in three games . . . Bench coach Tony Peña has missed the last two days with the flu.

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