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05/01/10 7:46 PM ET

Granderson headed to DL with groin strain

Center fielder injured on the bases; Melancon recalled

NEW YORK -- The first month of the Yankees' season had gone about as smoothly as Curtis Granderson looks when he glides around the bases. But on the first day of May, Granderson and the Bombers' swift start pulled up lame.

The center fielder left Saturday's 7-6 loss to the White Sox in the sixth inning with a strained left groin, suffered while going from first to third on Brett Gardner's RBI single. He was taken to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital for an MRI during the game. Granderson was diagnosed with a Grade 2 strain and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list.

The Yankees will recall right-hander Mark Melancon from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. This season, he is 3-0 with a 1.76 ERA in 10 relief appearances.

Even before hearing the results, manager Joe Girardi wasn't optimistic about a quick recovery.

"He's probably going to be DL," Girardi said. "On his way to second when he reached for the bag, he felt it. He said he didn't feel a pop, but it just kind of grabbed at him."

Randy Winn replaced Granderson on the basepaths, scoring on Derek Jeter's groundout, and Gardner moved over to take his spot in center field.

The Yankees knew something was wrong immediately after Granderson rounded second base, when he pulled up and hopped to third safely. There was not much of a consultation before he left the game for good.

"When you're running the bases and you pull up like that, you know it's not good," Mark Teixeira said. "It's unfortunate but part of the game. We have to just fight through it."

Girardi said Gardner would "probably be the center fielder no matter what" while Granderson is out. Winn and Marcus Thames will get the extra time in left field.

"I'm going to come in every day like I'm going to play," said Thames, who is batting .550 in platoon duty so far this season. "That's what I do. I don't change anything."

Granderson has missed time twice before with injuries -- in 2004 with a sprained ankle and in 2008 with a fractured hand.

"Curtis has been our outfield captain for us in center field all year," Nick Swisher said. "Anytime you're talking about something like that -- a groin -- you want to come back healthy. You don't want anything like that to come back."

Granderson went 1-for-3 on Saturday to raise his season average to .225.

Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.