© 2012 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

03/12/12 11:30 PM ET

Slow start to spring not new for Kuroda

TAMPA, Fla. -- Hiroki Kuroda's biggest critic may have been himself during Monday's 4-3 loss, as the Yankees right-hander came away unimpressed by his start against the Astros at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

The 37-year-old hurler held Houston scoreless on two hits over three innings, walking two and striking out two. Kuroda threw 24 of 42 pitches for strikes.

"I don't think I had all my stuff today," Kuroda said through an interpreter. "Nothing was really consistent. My two-seamer wasn't there, my cutter wasn't really cutting."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he thought Kuroda wasn't as consistent as he had been in his first spring start, against the Rays on Wednesday, when he was hit for three runs in two innings.

Girardi said that he was pleased that Kuroda navigated his workload without permitting any runs.

"I think that's all the experience that he has had over the years, that he knows how to find a way to get through it," Girardi said. "You're not going to have your 'A' stuff every time you go out there, and you've got to find a way. I think he is good at doing that."

Kuroda said that a slow spring start is not unusual for him.

"I think usually the first half of Spring Training is not really good," he said. "I start to warm up in the latter half."

Boot off, Robertson targets Opening Day

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees reliever David Robertson has discarded his walking boot and crutches and played catch for about five minutes on Monday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

"I didn't cut one loose, I can tell you that," Robertson said. "I'm still trying to just take it slow."

Robertson suffered a bone bruise on his right foot on Wednesday evening, when the right-hander missed a step going down the stairs of his spring residence while taking out cardboard boxes for recycling.

"These next three or four days out of the boot are probably pretty important, how his foot responds as we increase activity," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Robertson is continuing to receive treatment and can expect some amount of building back up to game shape, but it is not thought to be enough to place his beginning of the season in jeopardy.

"I think I'll easily be ready for Opening Day," Robertson said. "As long as I have no setbacks, I don't see why I wouldn't [be]. As long as I can play catch a few times, get back on the mound and get a few outings in the games, I'll be set."

Yanks prospect Burawa tears rib cage

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees right-hander Dan Burawa has suffered a tear in his rib cage and will be sidelined for at least the remainder of Spring Training, the Journal-News of Westchester (N.Y.) first reported on Monday.

Burawa, 23, had pitched three scoreless innings in three Grapefruit League appearances with New York. He was 5-4 with a combined 3.64 ERA in 39 appearances for Class A Charleston and Class A Advanced Tampa last season.

A product of Rocky Point, N.Y., who was a 10th-round selection by the Yankees in the June 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Burawa was slated to begin the year at Double-A Trenton. He acknowledged the news on Twitter, writing, "I'm bummed but it's a lesson in making your body strong for the long haul," adding that he would be back as soon as possible.

Bombers bits

• Bernie Williams attended Monday's game against the Astros wearing street clothes, and the outfielder-turned-musician plans to return on Tuesday in uniform as a guest instructor.

• The Yankees are hoping to have infielder Eduardo Nunez in their lineup on Tuesday against the Red Sox, assuming he can get through batting practice without discomfort. Nunez hasn't played since he was hit on the right hand by a pitch on March 5.

• Girardi said that he expects a different excitement level in the crowd on Tuesday with the Red Sox in town, but he doesn't believe the players will get caught up in that. Referencing Derek Jeter's daring 2004 play to secure a Trot Nixon popup, Girardi joked, "I don't particularly want Jeet jumping into the stands."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.