- Associated Press - Friday, May 24, 2013

TAMPA, FLA. (AP) - Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira expects to play in his first game since hurting his right wrist in early March, suiting up for a minor-league game with Double-A Trenton on Wednesday.

Teixeira, who injured the wrist while preparing with the U.S. team for the World Baseball Classic, has been working out at the Yankees’ minor-league complex.

“If everything goes as planned, I’ll leave here Tuesday and play in Trenton Wednesday and Thursday,” Teixeira said Friday. “That’s the plan right now.”

Teixeira, eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on May 30, didn’t rule out rejoining the Yankees next weekend.

“I think anything is possible at this point as long he has no setbacks,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before Friday night’s game at Tampa Bay.

With Girardi watching, the All-Star took part in an extensive simulated game with infielder Kevin Youkilis, who is out with a sore back. Along with hitting and base running, the pair played defense between at-bats.

“That was a serious simulated game,” Teixeira said. “That was challenging. It was good. It’s hot here. We got a lot of good work done.”

Youkilis looks to start a minor-league rehab assignment soon. Both Youkilis and Teixeira are scheduled to play in their first extended spring training game on Saturday.

The Yankees activated right-hander Ivan Nova, who had been on the 15-day disabled list with a right triceps injury, and moved him from the rotation to the bullpen.

“We want to get him back on track,” Girardi said. “Power-arm, very good stuff, but he’s struggled.”

Nova went 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA in four starts this season. While saying he’s not a bullpen pitcher, Nova said he rather be a big league reliever than start at Triple-A.

“That’s the role they have for me,” Nova said.

Left-hander Andy Pettitte played catch for the second consecutive day. He plans to have a bullpen session Saturday for the first time since going on the 15-day disabled list last Friday because of a strained left trapezius muscle in his upper back.

“For me, tomorrow will be a big day and seeing if it tightens up again, which I hope it doesn’t,” Pettitte said. “If the bullpen is good, then we can move forward. I feel good. I haven’t had any problems playing catch.

Pettitte (4-3), who will turn 41 next month, could pitch in a simulated or extended spring training game next week, and rejoin the rotation early next month.

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