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Yankees' Teixeira expects to return Thursday

New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira, right, greets Robinson

New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira, right, greets Robinson Cano at the plate after Cano's three-run home run off Baltimore Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie. (March 29, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

TAMPA, Fla. - Mark Teixeira feared the worst Monday night after Jeremy Guthrie's fastball drilled him on his right elbow and he watched it balloon into something that looked, in his words, "pretty nasty."

Although there still was some minor swelling Wednesday, it appears the first baseman will be back in the lineup Thursday, a day earlier than expected.

"Unless something crazy happens," Teixeira said. "I'm very encouraged with how I feel today."

Teixeira, at the suggestion of trainer Steven Donohue, will wear a protective elbow pad for at least the next few days.

"I think Steve wants me to just to make sure," Teixeira said. "I've never worn one, never liked to wear one, but I'll take the precaution and wear one for a couple days."

Cervelli undergoes MRI

Francisco Cervelli had a precautionary MRI Wednesday because his left hamstring felt sore during Tuesday's game.

"He called it a little pinch, but it didn't bother him," manager Joe Girardi said. "So we just decided, let's go get an MRI just to make sure."

Girardi did not have the results of the MRI but said his plan was to hold out Cervelli until Saturday. He took batting practice Wednesday and will catch in the bullpen Thursday.

"If the MRI tells us something different than he's feeling, and he feels pretty good, then you might have to make an adjustment," Girardi said.

Aceves feels better

Alfredo Aceves, out with a sore lower back, threw 20 pitches off a mound Wednesday and is on schedule to pitch Friday.

Aceves said he does various stretching exercises daily, along with occasional steam and ultrasound treatment to keep the back loose. It also gave him problems toward the end of last season.

Extra bases

Alex Rodriguez fouled a ball off his left foot in the second inning, then hit his second homer of the spring in the fourth . . . Joba Chamberlain pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, and Chan Ho Park pitched a perfect eighth with two strikeouts. Park has yet to give up a run in six innings and has struck out seven. Girardi said he may pitch Chamberlain, Park, Dave Robertson and Royce Ring Thursday to give them all back-to-back games. Mariano Rivera and Damaso Marte are scheduled to make their final spring appearances Friday . . . Curtis Granderson was in centerfield and Brett Gardner was in left. Girardi said he'll make an official announcement Thursday on his final outfield decision, but that "you can make an assumption" based on yesterday's alignment.


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