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Yankees' Mark Teixeira remains optimistic about return, but he's still in plenty of pain

New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira comes

New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira comes out of the dugout to accept the MetLife July Yankees player of the month before a baseball game against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium on Monday, Aug. 24, 2015. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Last Friday Mark Teixeira said he was "100 percent" convinced he would play again this season.

The Yankees first baseman, out since Aug. 17 with a bone bruise in his right shin, repeated that on Thursday but added a qualifier.

"In my mind, I'm still 100 percent. I'm coming back in my mind," Teixeira said before Thursday night's game against the Blue Jays was rained out and rescheduled for a single-admission doubleheader beginning at 1:05 p.m. Saturday. "That's the way I have to go about it."

But he did not sound like a player who is getting better.

"My leg just doesn't really work right now," he said, the most alarming of his comments.

Teixeira underwent a battery of tests, including a CT scan and MRI, on Aug. 18, and those tests were repeated Sept. 1. And he is headed back to the hospital Friday for more evaluation.

"We'll probably do some more tests tomorrow to see how much healing has been done," said Teixeira, who has been on crutches for more than a week. "Obviously a lot slower than I expected . . . I can't walk without pain yet, so that's kind of the first step [for progress]."

Since fouling a pitch off his right leg Aug. 17 against the Twins, Teixeira has appeared in only two games. He started Aug. 25 and pinch hit the following day.

He has received injections in the area, which he said have "helped," but "there's still a lot more healing to be done."

"You treat it like a fracture," Teixeira said. "It just needs to heal. And the MRI shows a lot of bleeding in the bone. If there's still a lot of bleeding in the bone, that means it's not healed."

When general manager Brian Cashman discussed Teixeira on Tuesday, he did not take an optimistic tone regarding a return this season.

"I do wonder [if he'll be back this season]," Cashman said. "Again, first and foremost, it's been a long time and he's still having issues."

Cashman added: "He's still feeling nerve issues running up and down the leg when he puts pressure on the leg. We have to wait it out. No guarantees."

Teixeira called the nerve irritation "a symptom of the problem."

"The bone bruise is the main problem, and if it was just the bone bruise and a little bit of soreness, I'd be out there and it wouldn't be an issue," he said. "But it's a pretty severe bruise and because of it, it causes swelling and nerve pain up and down my leg and makes it impossible [to run]."

Teixeira said the calendar still is on his side, though he sounded more hopeful than certain. "Hopefully we have a long playoff run and I'm a part of that as well," he said. "We want to be playing into November [when the World Series ends], so we still have a lot of time."

At the time of the injury, Teixeira was having an MVP-caliber season, leading the club with 31 homers and 79 RBIs. It has been, to say the least, difficult for him to watch the Yankees try to overtake the Blue Jays from the bench.

"This is not fun at all," he said. "This has been pretty painful -- in a lot of ways."

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