Mark Teixeira has been cleared to swing a bat today, albeit not with a ball coming toward him. He plans to take about 20 swings from both sides of the plate. It’s a step. He had swung underwater in a mini-pool here at Yankee Stadium yesterday.
There are several boxes that need to be checked off in this comeback from the partial tendon sheath tear in his right wrist.
“So it’s dry swinging today,” Teixeira said. “And then the next box would be tee. The next box is soft toss. Then it’s indoor batting practice. Then it’s outdoor batting practice. And then after that, you can do outdoor batting practice for a few days, where you go from like 20 swings to 30 to 40. So that’s the natural progression.
“But as long as there’s no issues, I’ll be able to make those next steps. If there’s soreness, I’ll take a step back. That’s where that eight to 10 (weeks) comes in. There’s two weeks wiggle room. I want to be back as soon as possible. But I have to be smart about it.”
Teixeira plans to travel with the team to Toronto after this Arizona series and then on to Tampa for the next one, which begins Monday night. The plan is for him to stay in Tampa and continue the progression if things continue to go well.
Teixeira has been hoping to return the first week of May. He admits there’s a little less pressure on him to try to speed up the process with the team playing well these days.
“If we were 2-10 right now, I think everybody would be saying, ‘Hey, Tex, when are you back? When are you back? When are you back?’ ” he said. “But all of us have stepped up and have done a great job. You look at what the team is doing right now, I can’t be more proud of how we’ve played. So it’s going to allow me to heal, which is what I need to do.”
Andy Pettitte is healing, too. In fact, he seems healed after those back spasms led to him being pushed back twice. The 40-year-old lefty threw a bullpen for the second straight day, this one shorter than yesterday’s. He pronounced his back good to go for the start Friday night in Toronto.
“Everything was good last night,” Pettitte said. “I felt so good, I threw another one today. So we’re ready for Friday.”