Nick Swisher is not the type who will remove himself from a game, but when trainer Steve Donohue and manager Joe Girardi noticed him grabbing his leg after a walk on Sunday they pulled him.
In retrospect, it was the right move since an MRI showed a low-grade left hamstring strain that the Yankees said will sideline him from playing defense for at the least the next week.
“I feel like I got off this one early,” Swisher said. “In a way I’m kind of happy that skip and Stevie kind of came out there because it’s something like this that could have been a lot worse. I’m the type of guy that would have done that. So I’m glad they got me out of there.”
Swisher said he originally felt something during his first at-bat in his back leg. Swisher struck out swinging on an outside slider.
Over the next few days, Swisher will consult with the team medical staff on the next course of action.
“The way I feel right now, I wouldn’t see it being a week,” Swisher said.
The injury is the same one that kept him out of the starting lineup with Oakland from April 24 to May 4, 2007. In his return game at Tampa Bay, Swisher hit a three-run home run in the top of the ninth.
Gardner nearing return
Brett Gardner can be activated from the disabled list Thursday, which is why the Yankees are willing to play shorthanded against the Orioles. He took another step in his recovery from a wrist injury by swinging in the cage.
“I think I’m still a few days away, but as long as I don’t have any setbacks, keep making progress and head in the right direction,” Gardner said. “As long as I keep heading in the right direction, I’ll be happy whenever it may be.”
The Yankees might send Gardner on a rehab assignment, but haven’t determined when or where or even if they will actually do so.
Gardner said he hasn’t felt any problems, but that he would need practice in the field.
Another outing for Pettitte
On a windy field in Clearwater, Fla., Andy Pettitte made his latest appearance leading up to his return in the next few weeks. The results were not great, as Pettitte allowed five earned runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings in an extended spring training game against the Phillies.
Pettitte was originally slated to pitch for Double-A Trenton in Portland, Maine, but the start was moved to Florida due to the cool weather conditions.
As for the next start, that remains undecided at the present time.
“I think it’s something we have to talk about,” Girardi said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow and the next day and decide what’s next.”
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.