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Joe Girardi talks about bevy of injured Yankees

04/01/2013 2:37 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Joe Girardi's Yankees have been hit with injuries to a number of key players.(AP)
NEW YORK -- With a handful of key players on the disabled list, part of Joe Girardi's early-season press conferences will likely involve an injury report. It's something the Yankees' manager will have to get used to.

Prior to the Yanks' opener on Monday, Girardi spoke about a number of banged-up Bombers, including his captain, Derek Jeter. Monday marked the first Opening Day that Jeter has missed since 2001, when a quad injury kept him out for the season opener. Girardi said that as of now, the Captain's return is to be determined.

"You know, for Derek, it's play as you can play. There is no exact schedule for him, because it's what his ankle allows him to do," Girardi said. "We're not really going to know that until he goes out there. Our expectation was that he was going to be here today, but he was not ready to go so we backed him off a little bit."

As for Mark Teixeira, he was scheduled to be examined by team doctors in New York sometime Monday to see if his wrist has healed enough to begin two-handed baseball activities.

"He's scheduled to see the doctors, and that's sort of a day-by-day thing," Girardi said of his Gold Glove first baseman. "It's all about what he can handle, too. I don't think I expect him to be able to swing a bat yet, but we'll see how he's progressing."

Clay Rapada was one of those injured Yankees until Sunday afternoon, when he was designated for assignment to open a roster spot for Lyle Overbay. Rapada's exit leaves Boone Logan as the lone lefty in the Yankees bullpen, and according to Girardi, that was a hard decision, but one the team will ride with for the time being.

"For right now, that's basically what we're going to do. We've had some roster issues, there's no question about that, and [designating Rapada] was the decision we made," Girardi said. "Clay did a tremendous job for us last year, but we needed a roster spot."

Girardi also said that Logan, who himself missed a good portion of Spring Training due to a tender elbow, will not necessarily be just a lefty specialist because he is the only southpaw in the relief corps.

"You look at our eighth inning and ninth inning and that's nailed down, and our hope is that Joba will nail down the seventh," Girardi said, "so if there's a lefty we want to have Boone go after in the seventh we might do that, but I won't be afraid to go left-right-left with him and use him whenever we need him."

Alex Rodriguez, who is on the 60-day disabled list while recovering from offseason hip surgery, was at Yankee Stadium for Opening Day, and Girardi was looking forward to seeing the slugger.

"I'm anxious to see him. I want to see how he's kind of moving around in a sense, because I haven't seen him since probably the end of January, when he was just starting riding a bike," Girardi said. "What he chooses to do today (when the team is introduced) is his prerogative, but I'm anxious to see him."

And as for one Yankee who missed most of last year but is back in pinstripes for Opening Day, Mariano Rivera, Girardi feels 2013 will be S.O.S -- Same Old Sandman.

"I expect for Mo to be Mo. As far as how he's responding (after surgery and a year off), for me, it was hard to tell that he ever got hurt," Girardi said. "I saw him go through all the drills, and I think there was a little hesitation in his mind about how he would feel if he had to react and cover first quickly, but in everything I saw, there was no hesitation and he went about his business as normal as you would see."

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