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08/30/10 11:00 PM ET

A-Rod unlikely to need rehab stint

Yanks expect slugger to return on Sunday, when eligible

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez is not expected to require a Minor League rehabilitation assignment before returning to the Yankees' lineup, manager Joe Girardi said on Monday.

The All-Star third baseman is eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list on Sunday, and the Yankees anticipate that the slugger's strained left calf will enable him to jump back into New York's cleanup spot on that day.

"[Rodriguez should return] when he's eligible to come off," Girardi said. "I don't think he'll go on rehab."

Rodriguez was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 21 with tightness in the calf, which he aggravated during an at-bat in an Aug. 20 loss to the Mariners while jogging lightly on a tapper to third base.

Rodriguez has said that he has never previously dealt with a calf injury, so he is unsure of what to expect. He hit off a tee and practiced soft-toss on Monday, and he incorporated light jogging into his workout.

After testing thumb, Teixeira returns

NEW YORK -- Mark Teixeira returned to the No. 3 spot in the Yankees' batting order in Monday's 11-5 win over the Oakland A's -- one day after he was a late scratch from the lineup with a bruised right thumb -- and immediately sparked New York's offense against American League Cy Young contender Trevor Cahill.

In the first inning, Teixeira singled and scored a run, and he hit his 29th homer of the season two innings later. Teixeira would later double, finishing a triple shy of the cycle.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Teixeira tested the thumb in the batting cages underneath Yankee Stadium early on Monday and that the first baseman was certain to be in the lineup unless something happened during batting practice.

Teixeira suffered the injury during Friday's 9-4 loss to the White Sox in Chicago while diving for a ball down the first-base line. He stayed in that game for a pair of at-bats but left Saturday's game for a pinch-hitter after two at-bats.

Sunday marked the first game this season that Teixeira missed due to injury. It was the third time this year that he wasn't in the starting lineup, with the other two coming due to the birth of his son earlier this month.

Next bullpen session a test for Pettitte

NEW YORK -- The next stage in Andy Pettitte's recovery from a strained left groin will come on Wednesday, when the left-hander will throw a "pretty intense" bullpen session, according to Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

Pettitte has been sidelined since July 19 with the injury, which was originally estimated to knock the veteran out for up to five weeks but has now taken longer. Pettitte threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Sunday in Chicago and reported that he was pleased with his health.

"We've come so far -- there's no sense in not being extremely careful," Pettitte said. "I'm not going to push it. Whatever they think, I'll do."

If Pettitte's session on Wednesday goes well, he would then be escalated to face hitters, either under controlled conditions in a simulated game or during a Minor League rehabilitation assignment. Pettitte has estimated that his best-case scenario would be to return within two weeks.

Worth noting

Yankees designated hitter Lance Berkman, on the disabled list with a right ankle sprain, began a rehab assignment on Monday for Double-A Trenton, going 2-for-5 with one run scored. ... Facing a string of six day games in seven days beginning on Thursday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he "will look at" giving shortstop Derek Jeter days off or time at designated hitter during this homestand. ... The Yankees' five consecutive day games mark the first time the club will do so at home since April 8-14, 2004, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Marcus Thames entered Monday having homered in four straight starts -- five homers total -- and hit safely in 13 of 14 starts. In that span, Thames has hit .377 (20-for-53).

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