Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Teixeira's Slow Pace a Comfort

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Teixeira's Slow Pace a Comfort

Article excerpt

TAMPA, Fla. -- Mark Teixeira was fully prepared to accelerate his rehab, though the delicate nature of his wrist injury and the Yankees' early-season success imposed a slower pace.

"If it was my choice, I'd have been back earlier," Teixeira said Thursday following a workout at the club's minor league complex. "But it's all about ... what's best for the team."

Ideally, that means getting the maximum contribution out of Teixeira, who hopes to begin a minor league rehab assignment next week.

"Everything's great, I can't be happier with how I feel," the switch-hitting Teixeira said of his swings during simulated games. "I'm seeing the ball really well, hitting the ball really well. As always, my right-handed side is a little bit ahead of the left- handed side, but I feel great right now."

But there are still a few more high hurdles to clear before Teixeira returns to the Yankees' lineup.

There's still a chance that surgery -- not merely three months of rest and rehab - is the ultimate cure for a tendon sheath tear that landed Teixeira on the disabled list during spring training.

At a golf tournament earlier this week, general manager Brian Cashman tempered the glowing reports on Teixeira with cold reality; the GM essentially said he'd need to see his first baseman complete a minor league rehab before raising the club's expectations for a Teixeira return.

Teixeira, 33, understands the whole "wrists-are-tricky" talk.

He saw what happened to Toronto slugger Jose Bautista, who came back too soon from a similar injury, only to suffer a greater tear on one swing - requiring season-ending surgery.

From the start, Teixeira wasn't opposed to the club's conservative timetable for recovery. And the Yankees have seen no need to alter that gradual pace, partly due to the play of veteran lineup additions such as Lyle Overbay, Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner.

"There's some points where you have to speed up a recovery, come back a little bit too early because the team needs you," Teixeira said. …

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