NEW YORK -- Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner remains optimistic that he will be able to rejoin the club shortly after the All-Star break, and manager Joe Girardi has no problem with that timetable.

"I want guys to have goals in mind," Girardi said. "I think if you don't have a date in mind, it's even more difficult to go through what you're going through. I think it gives him a little bit of hope that he's going to get to do what he loves."

Gardner has played in just nine games this season, and none since April 17, due to a strained right elbow. His latest setback prompted a recommendation of three to four weeks of rest after receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection and a cortisone shot last week in Cincinnati.

"I think we have missed him, even though we have played extremely well as of late," Girardi said. "We have missed him. We miss his ability to create runs. We miss his defense in left field. We miss a lot of things. I'm looking forward to getting him back."

Jeter, Girardi react to Clemens' not guilty verdict

NEW YORK -- Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said that he was "happy" for former teammate Roger Clemens, who was found not guilty on all charges in his federal perjury trial on Monday.

"I think it's good for baseball that it's over with," Jeter said. "We can stop talking about it. I'm happy that everything turned out well for him."

Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte said, "I don't even care to talk about that," when asked about the verdict following New York's 6-2 win over the Braves. Pettitte testified at the trial in Washington in May.

Manager Joe Girardi echoed similar thoughts to Jeter's, saying that the resolution is positive for baseball.

"Now I think we can focus on the game at hand," Girardi said. "It seems like there's a lot of focus on the trial, and it takes people away from being at the game. We can move on."

Jeter said that he had exchanged text messages with Clemens during the process, but they did not speak specifically about the trial. Clemens and Jeter were teammates for six seasons in New York -- from 1999-2003 and again in '07.

"I think [the verdict] means a lot for him, first and foremost," Jeter said. "That's the important thing. I think it's great for the game that we can stop talking about it now, you know what I mean?


"This is something that's been going on for a long time. I'm glad it's over with. I'm pretty sure baseball fans will be happy it's over with."

Girardi said that he hopes the closure of the trial will help the sport focus on the future.

"I think when we get all trials out of the way, I think it does [end the discussion]," Girardi said. "Because it seems like every time someone was brought up before a grand jury, put on trial, you'd focus on what was going on the last 10, 15 years. Now it seems like we're beyond. We can focus on what's going to go on the next 10 years."

Jeter said that he could not know how the trial will affect Clemens' Hall of Fame chances. Clemens' first year of eligibility for enshrinement in Cooperstown, N.Y., will be 2013.

"Like I've always said, you really have to be careful [not] to rush to judgment," Jeter said. "I'm happy for Roger."

Swisher's bruised left thigh getting better

NEW YORK -- Nick Swisher attempted to take batting practice on Monday, but he was not able to do so without feeling discomfort in his bruised left thigh.

"It was improved, but I'm not quite there yet," Swisher said.

Swisher was injured on Saturday when he slid into home plate and collided with Nationals catcher Jesus Flores. Swisher limped off the field after the play and later said it "feels like the worst charley horse ever."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he wasn't sure if Swisher would be available to pinch-hit on Monday against the Braves.

"It's a bone bruise. It's going to go away," Girardi said. "Is it another day after [Monday]? Possibly. Do I expect to have him in the next couple days? I do."

Bombers bits

• The Yankees considered having Russell Martin catch CC Sabathia on Monday, but Swisher's left thigh bruise forced Martin to designated hitter. Sabathia has worked with backup catcher Chris Stewart each time out since April 17.

• Comedian Cedric the Entertainer was a guest of the Yankees during batting practice on Monday, exchanging pleasantries with Curtis Granderson, Jeter and Mark Teixeira, among others.

• On this date in 2005, Jeter hit his first career grand slam off the Cubs' Joe Borowski and added a solo home run in an 8-1 Yankees victory. Jeter had hit 156 homers prior to the grand slam, the most by any Yankee before hitting a grand slam.