FRANCISCO CERVELLI Position: Catcher | Age: 24 | Years with...


Position: Catcher | Age: 24 | Years with Yankees: 2008-Present

Fun Fact: His able performance last year coming up from Double-A to sub for the injured Jorge Posada and Jose Molina earned him his major-league roster spot this season. Credit: Alejandra Villa

TAMPA, Fla. - All things considered, Francisco Cervelli thought himself lucky.

Cervelli, expected to be Jorge Posada's backup at catcher, was hit just above the left ear by Blue Jays righthander Zech Zinicola when he led off the third inning yesterday. He suffered a concussion and, after being helped off the field, was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he had a precautionary CT scan. The tests were negative.

"Everything's all right, thank God," said Cervelli, who turned 24 yesterday. "Just a matter of a couple days."

Actually, it probably will be a little longer than that.

Joe Girardi said Cervelli, who suffered a concussion in November in winter ball, will see team physician Andrew Boyer Sunday and will visit a neurologist tomorrow.

Cervelli had been scheduled to take the two-hour-plus bus trip to Fort Myers for today's game against the Twins. Now Mike Rivera will make the trip.

Girardi said "maybe Tuesday or Wednesday" for Cervelli's return. The catcher was hit in the identical spot in November, though that time by a bat, and that has to be factored in.

"It's a concern," Girardi said. "Any time you start talking about injuries to the head like that, you're concerned about it. He's feeling OK now, but you worry about it. It's scary."

Cervelli estimated he's taken blows to his head "like 10 times" in his young career.

"Right now I'm dizzy a little bit with a headache, but that's normal," he said. "I'll rest today and tomorrow and see what happens Monday."

Cervelli was asked how many concussions he has had.

"I don't know," he said before adding - without trying to be funny - "I forget."


Johnson OK after BPNick Johnson took batting practice in the cages Saturday morning.

"Good, I felt good," Johnson said. "Took 50 swings in the cage, felt loose, got some more treatment.'' He expects to be back tomorrow.

Johnson said he felt "very little'' of the effects of stiffness caused when his spike caught in the artificial turf mat during batting practice Thursday.

"It's nothing, really," he said. "Just continue to do my stretches, lower-body stuff and keep my legs loose."


Extra basesChan Ho Park said he has thrown three bullpen sessions and will throw his first live batting practice session Monday . . . Mariano Rivera is likely to do the same . . . Former Yankees catcher Jose Molina, who said he lost 15 pounds in the offseason, was the Blue Jays' starter yesterday.

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