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Yankees LF Brett Gardner, Out with Elbow Injury, Hopes to Return by Mid, Late July

Yahoo Contributor Network

Out since April with a strained right elbow, New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner thinks this month could finally mark his return, which has been delayed twice.

"I feel pretty good," Gardner told Yahoo! Contributor Network following the Yankees' 4-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. "The idea is for me to pick up a bat some time toward the middle of this week and hopefully progress toward the following week, probably a week and a half from now progressing to [batting practice] on the field.

"They're trying to put me on the field, trying to get me into a rehab game down in Tampa," the base-stealer added. "I'm flying with the guys down to Tampa today, but I'll be over at the minor league complex for the next couple of weeks getting ready to go. Hopefully, shortly after the All-Star break I'll be back--toward the middle or end of the month--and hopefully we continue playing good on this road trip."

The Bombers, on their last homestand, completed a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians before splitting a four-game set with Chicago over the weekend. They're set to play seven road games going into this year's All-Star break, first opening a best-of-three vs. the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night.

Then, to close out their first-half schedule, the Yankees--up six games in the AL East courtesy of a 21-7 mark since June 1--will head out to Fenway Park for a four-game set vs. the Boston Red Sox this weekend.

"It's not frustrating when the team's playing well," Gardner said about being sidelined during the Yankees' great run. "It's frustrating when the team's not playing well. You want to do what you can to try and help out, and try and give some guys who've been playing every day a little rest.

"But it's been a lot of fun to watch the way the team's been playing close to five weeks now. It seems like the team's been playing great, and hopefully they can keep up the momentum going until the break."

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