New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira strained his left calf in late August and has been sidelined since re-aggravating the injury in Baltimore on Sept. 8.
After the switch-hitting slugger worked out before Saturday's game against the Oakland Athletics, he detailed his progress inside the Yankees' clubhouse.
On how he felt after jogging lightly, taking swings and fielding ground balls: "I felt fine. Obviously, I wasn't really pushing it really out there. It was a good workout. A little faster tomorrow (Sunday). Everything felt good. Grounders, everything felt good. Hitting, it'll be more of the same. Maybe a few more grounders. So just basically the same thing as today, but one step up."
His greatest concern when it comes to movement: "Grounders aren't going to be a problem, hitting's not going to be a problem. It's when you have to accelerate, you know, that first step, or maybe a jog to a run. And so if I overload it, whether I take a misstep, sometimes walking up or down stairs where I'm not being careful, it just feels a little tight, a little sore. But overall, like I said, it's getting better and it's progressing a little bit better each day."
Talking more about running: "That's one thing that I'm a little worried about. Even in the game in Baltimore, I played more shallow because I didn't want to have to sprint to first base. You guys see me do that all the time, where I make a play and don't want to have to worry about the pitcher getting over there, so I sprint to first. So I played shallow knowing that I wasn't going to be able to accelerate full speed to get to first. So that's definitely an issue, too. So it's not just hitting, it's fielding. I wanna make sure that if I dive for a play, need to get a big out to save an inning, that I can do that."
The importance of regaining the ability to run at full speed: "If you need it to win the game, it's really big. I'd love to be able to say I'm gonna hit two doubles where I could cruise in, and we're gonna win every game by six runs and I can cruise. As you guys know, there's tons of games that are decided by a close play at first, a guy scoring from second, maybe not gettin' to third on a first-to-third. I wanna be comfortable that I can do those things and not blow out again, because then we're right back to square one. First game of the playoffs, we're down one run and I need to beat out a double or beat out an infield hit, and I blow out and I'm out for the rest of the playoffs, we accomplished nothing. So I just need to be able to play."
Admitting he came back too soon earlier this month:"We didn't really have a progression last time. It was, 'Get back as soon as possible.' And this time we're doing a progression."
On when he expects to return: "I really don't want to speculate; I don't know... I really don't know. As soon as I say, 'Hey, I'll be back in three days,' in three days I don't feel really good and I still go out there... So, you know, it's like I'm just gonna take it day by day, and that's the plan this time around."
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