Continued from page 1

Girardi was excited to hear the five-time Gold Glove winner was moving toward a return to New York’s lineup.

“So far, so good,” he said. “Everything has been positive in his rehab. The true steps are going to be in the swinging part. He’s been strengthening it and he was in that brace for a while but everything has been encouraging so far.”

Teixeira joked that once he arrives in Florida he may have to take extra precautions when facing some of the Yankees’ pitching prospects.

“We’ll tell those young guys to throw straight and away,” Teixeira said, laughing. “We’ve got to protect our arms and wrists down there.”

Teixeira blamed his injury on “overuse,” and said he would cut back on his work load in the batting cage going forward. He has not yet been cleared to throw, but isn’t concerned.

“I make like two throws a week, so there is no reason to stretch it, but I don’t see it being a problem,” he said. “I take so many swings being a switch-hitter. I’m going to emphasize quality over quantity from now on.”

A career .279 hitter, Teixeira is wearing compression wraps on both wrists during his recovery, but he’ll just tape them _ for the first time in his career _ once he begins playing in games.

Teixeira is in the fifth season of an eight-year, $180 million contract with the Yankees, who signed him as a free agent in 2009. He batted .251 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs in 123 games last season.

NOTES: OF Ichiro Suzuki was not in Wednesday’s lineup because Girardi wanted to play Brennan Boesch. But although the game was rained out, Ichiro was back in right field for Thursday’s game, which was eventually called. Girardi said he does not want to give the 39-year-old Ichiro two straight days off. “I’ll get Boesch in there sometime this weekend,” Girardi said. … New York had 11 extra-base hits in Tuesday’s 14-1 win. It was their most doubles, triples and homers in one game since 2009 and just the sixth time New York has had 11 extra-base hits in a game since 1954.


AP freelancer Brian Dulik contributed to this report.