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03/26/08 11:01 AM ET

Feeling ill, Damon out of lineup

Expected to play left field for Yankees during weekend

TAMPA, Fla. -- Under the weather for the past few days, Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon was scratched from the club's road game against the Phillies on Wednesday with flu-like symptoms.

"We had to scratch him," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's going to see the doctor and then, 'night-night.'"

Damon, 34, had been absent from camp but rejoined the team on Wednesday at Winter Haven, going 0-for-4 in a 7-5 Grapefruit League loss to the Indians. Girardi said that the bug affecting Damon has been floating around the Yankees' Minor League complex on Himes Avenue for more than a week.

"It'll pass, but obviously you'd love to have him playing right now," Girardi said. "I'm more worried about him passing it to someone else."

Girardi said that he envisions his entire starting lineup, Damon included, playing in New York's two exhibition games against the Marlins in Miami on Friday and Saturday. The club will then travel north for a workout at Yankee Stadium on Sunday before opening the regular season against the Blue Jays on Monday.

Damon, who is slotted to bat leadoff and play left field on Opening Day, is batting .283 (10-for-43) with five doubles and two RBIs in 14 Grapefruit League games. He batted .270 with 12 home runs and 63 RBIs in 141 games for New York last season.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.