Brendan Ryan not rushing return from injury

03/12/2014 11:48 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Brendan Ryan greets Francisco Cervelli at the plate during a spring game.(AP)
TAMPA, Fla. - Brendan Ryan hasn't played since March 4, staying inactive because of what was first thought to be an oblique injury but is, as he admitted Wednesday, actually more of a back problem.

"It's lumbar I guess, lower back," Ryan said Wednesday morning in the Yankees clubhouse. "I think they might have been worried it was oblique at first, but it doesn't feel oblique-ish. Either way I don't feel it anymore, and I'm feeling pretty good today."

After a full week off, Ryan did some dry exercises on Tuesday - or as he called it, "rotations and stuff, nothing terribly exciting" - but wasn't sure when he would move onto anything further.

"I figure (it will be a few more days); we've been very careful, so why stop?" he said. "Like I said, I feel pretty good, but I don't want to have wasted that week I just missed."

When asked about a timetable, Ryan said that the Yankees "keep telling me April 1," intimating that his health for the regular season is paramount but also joking that he hopes that isn't actually a return date.

Either way, as a veteran, he knows that rushing can quickly lead from progress to regress, so he'll just have to stay, for now, day-to-day.

"I love the attention, but there's no cast or stitches or anything, so it's not as obvious (how healing is going)," he laughed. "It's just something we're being very careful with. I just have to keep being patient."

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