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Mark Teixeira has partially torn tendon sheath in right wrist

Mark Teixeira looks on after he was left

Mark Teixeira looks on after he was left on base in the first inning of Game 2 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium. (Oct. 14, 2012) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Mark Teixeira inadvertently caused some confusion for the Yankees on Sunday.

Arriving in Tampa to continue his rehab, the first baseman disclosed that he has a partially torn tendon sheath in his right wrist. Nearly two weeks ago, the Yankees had called the injury a strained tendon.

That had reporters calling Brian Cashman and, in turn, the general manager calling team physician Christopher Ahmad for clarification.

In a phone interview, Cashman said Ahmad told him the injury, diagnosed after Teixeira went for a second opinion, is a partially torn tendon sheath, though with the tendon "stable."

Cashman said he was told that the injury generally heals without surgery and can do so within the original eight to 10 weeks the Yankees gave for recovery.

But Cashman didn't downplay that the torn sheath makes surgery more of a possibility, as Teixeira's injury is similar to the one Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista suffered last July 16.

But Bautista suffered a fully torn sheath and knew surgery would be required from the start, the reason he tried to come back and play.

"I was going to have to have surgery regardless," he said last week in Dunedin before a game against the Yankees.

Cashman said of Teixeira, "A partially torn sheath with a stable tendon, which is what we're looking at, it's 70 percent that he'll heal and not need surgery."

He later said, "I haven't been told anything about a timetable change. But if it takes longer to heal, it takes longer. If that fails, we're looking at surgery."

That's the reason, Teixeira said, he will not rush. He's back in Tampa to rehab but will have no baseball activities until next week -- and those will begin at a slow pace.

"It's like a pitcher with an elbow or a shoulder," Teixeira said. "You come back early from Tommy John or from labrum surgery, you're going to be terrible and you're going to hurt yourself. It's not like a sore knee where at the end of the season, we'll scope it, or a pulled hamstring that you just protect it and you limp around the bases. This is something that if I come back early, I'm not going to be very good. Or I could blow it out and risk surgery and then I'm gone the whole year."

Teixeira, battling a calf injury last August, came back too soon and ended up missing most of September, reinjuring himself while trying to beat out a double-play ball in Baltimore.

"This is, unfortunately, if I try to play too early, we could miss the whole season, and we don't want that," Teixeira said. "I don't know if it's going to be beginning of May, middle of May, beginning of June. I know there's still a whole bunch of season left and the time that really matters is the playoffs. We have a great team. We have guys that are going to be able to pick me up while I'm gone."

They'll have to pick up Curtis Granderson, too. Granderson, who has hit 84 homers the last two years, isn't expected back until early May as he recovers from a broken right forearm.

But broken bones are more predictable than what Teixeira is dealing with, making Granderson's return around the projected date more likely.

"I've said all along I was more concerned about Tex than Grandy because bones heal; wrists you're always worried about," Joe Girardi said. "So we're not going to rush it. We're going to do everything we're told to do and hope it works."

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