Mark Teixeira hopes to return before the end of the regular season, but the New York Yankees first baseman simply can't guarantee that will be the case.
"I don't know," Teixeira said. "I'm confident I'm going to work as hard as I can to try to play again, but I really have no idea. I wish I had the crystal ball to tell you when I could play, but I just don't have it."
Teixeira is back on the shelf with the same Grade 1 left calf strain that cause him to miss 10 games between Aug. 28 and Sept. 7. He returned to the lineup Saturday, but he irritated the injury while running out a ball in the ninth inning, sending him back to square one.
The Yankees announced that Teixeira would miss 10 to 14 days following the setback, but the first baseman isn't sure that will be enough time.
"I really don't know what '10 to 14' means because 12 didn't work last time," Teixeira said. "Now we know that 'a little tight' still doesn't work. I have to be more careful. A calf doesn't seem like something you can play on at 80-90 percent. I really don't know when it'll be, but I'm just being positive and I'm going to work hard."
Manager Joe Girardi seemed confident that Teixeira would be back in time for the postseason -- assuming the Yankees make it there, that is -- but he admitted that whenever Teixeira returns, he'll be holding his breath for the first few days.
"If you remember what I said when he came back, I was still concerned," Girardi said. "That initial step that you have to take, that explosive step, a lot of that comes from your calf. Until you get through a few days, no matter how long you give him off, I think I'm going to be concerned. Just because of the quick movements that you have to make as a batter, as a position player, there's always going to be some of that concern when he comes back."
Steve Pearce started at first base Tuesday, and he went 0-for-2 with a walk in the Yankees' 4-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.