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06/07/12 6:46 PM ET

Nerve damage culprit for Teixeira's cough

NEW YORK -- The mystery of Mark Teixeira's persistent cough was solved on Thursday, as a specialist told the Yankees first baseman that he has suffered nerve damage to his vocal cords.

Teixeira was pleased to finally receive a definitive answer and a treatment plan. An early April illness started the coughing fits, which were severe enough to create a lasting issue.

"That's actually really good news for me, because we think we found the reason for all of this," Teixeira said. "She gave me some medicine that will hopefully help the nerve calm down. It's good news for me. It puts my mind at ease."

Teixeira's coughing has calmed recently, but it hasn't completely disappeared, which prompted him to head for another visit to New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Thursday morning.

"My voice still isn't where it needs to be," Teixeira said. "I can't yell out on the field. As a first baseman -- communicating with your pitcher, communicating with your catcher, guys are stealing -- you want to be able to use your voice."

The specialist placed a camera down Teixeira's throat and showed him the pictures. Teixeira said that he was told it could take him up to a year to fully recover; the specialist told him to rest, but Teixeira refuses to do so during the season.

"Because of the damage to the vocal cords, you're always coughing," Teixeira said. "And until you stop coughing, you're not going to get the inflammation out of there. She said it's a vicious cycle, and she said the same thing every other doctor said: 'Go take two weeks off.' That's not going to happen, but it's something I can manage with some medication."

Garcia to bereavement list; Igarashi called up

NEW YORK -- The Yankees placed right-hander Freddy Garcia on the Major League bereavement list and called up right-hander Ryota Igarashi for Thursday's series finale against the Rays.

Garcia's grandfather passed away in Venezuela, and the Yankees said that Garcia will be away from the team for several days.

Igarashi, 33, was claimed on waivers from the Blue Jays on May 29. He allowed four runs in two appearances for Toronto this year and made 79 appearances over the last two seasons for the Mets.

"He's a guy that can give you up to 50 pitches, but he can also be a one-inning guy," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's kind of a power guy. He's going to get an opportunity over the next few days."

Igarashi was 1-2 with a 1.73 ERA in 22 appearances at the Triple-A level this year, three of which came in the Yankees' system for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In 21 innings, he struck out 39 and walked six.

Robertson on verge of rehab assignment

NEW YORK -- Yankees reliever David Robertson threw 25 pitches of live batting practice on Thursday at Yankee Stadium and is close to reporting for a Minor League rehabilitation assignment.

Manager Joe Girardi watched Robertson's session and said the team should decide by Friday if the hurler -- on the disabled list since May 15 with a strained left oblique -- is ready to join Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

"He looked OK, so the next decision is, does he throw in a game or do we have him do one more batting practice before he throws in a game?" Girardi said. "I'm sure that all the powers that be will make a decision pretty quickly."

Girardi said that outfielder Brett Gardner took batting practice on Thursday in Tampa, Fla., and is ready to join Class A Charleston for a Minor League rehab game. Gardner felt some soreness after his last hitting session but reported no problems Thursday.

"I was a little concerned, but the fact that he felt better today, felt good today, makes me feel good," Girardi said. "He hasn't played much in the past month and a half, so I wasn't sure how his arm would feel."

Bombers bits

• The Yankees held their opponents to four hits in three straight games from Sunday through Wednesday, marking the first time they've surrendered four or fewer hits in three consecutive games since June 6-9, 1998.

 • On this date in 1967, the Yankees used the No. 1 overall pick in the Draft to select Ron Blomberg, who later became baseball's first designated hitter.

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.