TAMPA, Fla. — Mark Teixeira says he has a partially torn tendon sheath in his right wrist and didn’t rule out missing up to two months of the regular season.
The first baseman rejoined the New York Yankees at spring training Sunday after getting hurt March 5 while with the U.S. team at the World Baseball Classic. The injury initially was announced as a strained wrist.
“The tendon is fine,” Teixeira said. “That’s the good thing. It’s the sheath that holds the tendon over. … It’s the little covering that holds the tendon in place. When you rotate your wrist, that tendon will snap in and out if the sheath is gone, and so the tendon sheath just got damaged a little bit, and we just want to make sure that the tendon is sitting in the groove right and it’s stable. If that doesn’t heal, then the tendon has a chance to get damaged, and you really don’t want that.”
Teixeira plans to start limited baseball drills in about a week and is optimistic that surgery will not be necessary.
He was hurt while swinging a weighted bat left-handed off a tee in an indoor cage during pregame warmups with the U.S. at the World Baseball Classic. The Yankees have said Teixeira will be out until at least May.
“The good thing is it’s nothing major, nothing where I’m missing a whole season,” Teixeira said.
Teixeira is not blaming his national team participation for the injury.
“It has nothing to do with the WBC,” he said. “It would be one thing if we weren’t playing games. We started playing games on the 23rd of February. February 23rd, think about it.”
“So we’re playing games,” Teixeira added. “It doesn’t matter if you’re WBC, doesn’t matter if you’re spring training, I was hitting off a tee. It was a freak injury. If nobody was playing baseball and we decided to show up in January or February and start playing nine inning games, then people would say, ‘OK, what is this WBC?’ but we’re playing games.”
Teixeira expects to start swinging a bat one-handed and fielding grounders after a week of cardio work. He says the wrist is stiff, but there is no pain.
“This is something that if I come back early, I’m not going to be very good and I can blow it out and risk surgery, and then I’m gone the whole year,” Teixeira said.
Left-hander Andy Pettitte and closer Mariano Rivera are slated to take part in minor league games Monday, an off day for the Yankees.
Phil Hughes is to throw in his first simulated game Monday since being sidelined by a bulging disk in his upper back on Feb. 18. The right-hander could miss his first turn in the rotation.
Shortstop Derek Jeter is listed on the travel roster for Tuesday’s game against Philadelphia in Clearwater. The Yankees captain played consecutive games in the field Friday and Saturday for the first time since ankle surgery last October.
“Try to play him a couple days in a row again and go from there,” manager Joe Girardi said.
Reliever Boone Logan, out because of a sore elbow, will pitch in a simulated game Tuesday. Girardi feels there is enough time for the left-hander to be ready for opening day.
Left-handed reliever Clay Rapada, slowed by a shoulder injury, is playing catch, but his opening-day status has not been determined.
New York released Matt Diaz, signed as a minor league free agent during the off-season to compete for an extra outfield spot. The decision to release the 35-year old Diaz came after the Yankees signed outfielders Ben Francisco and Brennan Boesch int he past week.