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04/09/08 7:45 PM ET

Posada likely won't need DL stint

Yankees relieved as MRI shows strain of catcher's shoulder

KANSAS CITY -- Jorge Posada may be able to avoid a trip to the disabled list after all, as an MRI exam taken on Wednesday alleviated some of the Yankees catcher's worst fears.

Posada was lifted from the Yankees' loss on Tuesday as Kansas City ran wild on his "dead" throwing arm, stealing four bases off the backstop. Posada initially wondered if he might require a surgical procedure, but an examination revealed only a strained right shoulder.

"It's good news that it's not worse," Posada said. "I was worried. Your shoulder is part of what you do. I had surgery in [2001], and I thought it was going to be the same. I'm happy that it's not."

Posada said that he does not expect to play for at least three or four days, but he does not feel pain in the arm when he throws or swings the bat. The 36-year-old switch-hitter has not ruled out appearing in the club's upcoming weekend series against the Red Sox, and he could be used as a designated hitter.

Posada was examined by Royals team physician Dr. Steve Joyce on Wednesday in Kansas City, and the results of his MRI will be reviewed by both Yankees team physician Dr. Stuart Hershon in New York as well as Dr. James Andrews, who performed Posada's surgical procedure after the 2001 World Series to repair a small tear in his labrum.

"It's easier now that you know what it is," Posada said. "Now you can treat it better."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the news was a relief, but from what he had gathered by speaking with head trainer Gene Monahan, Girardi said that positive results were anticipated.

"From some of the discussions that Geno had with me, and some of the things they did, they didn't think there was anything in there," Girardi said. "When you see him not throwing like he's capable of, in the back of your mind, you say it's better to make sure."

In the meantime, the Yankees will continue on by using understudy Jose Molina on a regular basis. Molina is batting .286 (4-for-14) in five games with New York this season, starting four times as Posada has battled his shoulder malady.

To stave off boredom as he allows the arm to rest, Posada is to begin taking ground balls at first base, preparing for possible infield duty when the Yankees visit National League parks during Interleague Play later this season.

Girardi said that he did not expect Posada to play first base in the near future and that the Yankees did not have to immediately make a move to add another catcher to the roster.

"I'm comfortable with that," Girardi said. "Jose is an accomplished catcher, and that's why he's here."

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