NEW YORK -- Prior to Wednesday night's game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi continued to leave the Alex Rodriguez door ajar, reiterating that Friday is still a possibility for A-Rod's return.

"I'm not going to say 100 percent that he's not going to be here or be here," Girardi said. "A lot of it is how [his hip] feels and in discussions with him, and if he feels that he is ready to go physically."

In Wednesday's extended spring game in Tampa, Fla., Rodriguez served as the designated hitter and went 1-for-5 with a walk. He also slid for the first time since undergoing right hip surgery in Vail, Colo., on March 9.

"The slide was good," Rodriguez later told The Associated Press. "No problems. I feel good."

A-Rod, however, reiterated being in the dark about the timetable for his return to the Yankees. The third baseman is scheduled to play six innings in the field on Thursday, and Girardi said a decision will be made following his performance.

One thing Girardi was sure of was that A-Rod would get days off when he returns.

"I just don't see myself playing him seven days in a row," Girardi said. "I just don't see that the first time through."

The Yankees open a weekend series in Baltimore on Friday, and if A-Rod did return, he would already have a built-in off-day on Monday.