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Greg Bird improving, but won't offer a timetable for return to Yankees

Yankees first baseman Greg Bird reacts after he

Yankees first baseman Greg Bird reacts after he strikes out swinging with the bases loaded during the first inning against the White Sox at Yankee Stadium on April 12. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Caution must be used when updating any injury involving Greg Bird, who has spent most of his major-league career battling various ailments. On a very long list, he’s second only to Jacoby Ellsbury for the unwanted title of most injured Yankee.

Bird was asked Saturday if he has a timetable for returning from a plantar fascia tear in his left foot. “Timetables are pointless,’’ he said.

Bird suffered his latest injury April 17. “It just popped,’’ he said.

But there is some progress. Bird no longer is wearing the walking boot he had to use for about two weeks. “It’s just annoying,’’ he said. “It’s not like you’ve got to be in it all the time. The boot’s just no fun.’’

He is walking on a treadmill. There still is discomfort in the foot, but Bird said there has been some improvement.

“It’s good. It’s getting better,’’ he said. “It’s going in the right direction, so that’s nice.’’

Once thought of as the replacement for Mark Teixeira, Bird, 26, has played in only 186 games in four years with the Yankees. He has a career average of .211 with 32 home runs and 98 RBIs.

He missed the 2016 season with a torn labrum and required surgery on his right foot in 2017. Last season, he had ankle surgery.

Even when Bird regains full health, there is no assurance that he will have a spot on the major league level. Luke Voit has basically become an immovable force at first base.

Asked if he thinks he still fits in, Bird said, “I have no idea. I don’t have an answer for that, to be honest. So many guys are hurt. There are so many moving parts. And that goes to the timetable, You just don’t know. I just got to get better. That’s it right now. Can’t worry about it if I can’t play right now.’’

Bird has had to cope with the emotional lows of spending so much time being sidelined, but he will continue to persevere. “Because I enjoy somewhere down there [inside],’’ he said. “I guess that’s the best way to explain it. You just have to keep going. ’’

Sanchez streaking

Gary Sanchez hit his 11th home run and third in the last two games. “’I’m feeling good right now. It’s about making adjustments,’’ he said through his translator. “I’ve been able to do that, staying away from bad pitches and looking to keep the consistency going. When you stop swinging at bad pitches . . . you force them to pitch you in your zone. Right now, I’m not missing those.’’

No return date for Judge

It has been two weeks since Aaron Judge suffered a left oblique strain, but he still seems a long way from returning to the lineup. “Not any baseball stuff yet,” Aaron Boone told reporters Friday night. “Improvement seems like every day. Able to do some things in the weight room and range-of- motion stuff that he’s going through, but we’re still not at that point where we’re ready to make a call on what we think it’s going to be.”

Game to begin at 4:05

With rain expected early in the day, the Yankees switched Sunday’s finale of the three-game series against the Twins from 1:05 to 4:05 p.m. “All gates at Yankee Stadium will open at 2:30 p.m,’’ the team said in a release. “The first 10,000 guests, aged 14 and younger, will receive a 1999 World Champions commemorative bat.

Extra bases

Luke Voit went 0-for-4 to end his major league-leading on-base streak at 42 games . . . Righthander Jake Barrett made his Yankees debut and gave up a long home run to Nelson Cruz in the ninth inning.

New York Sports