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09/18/12 7:15 PM ET

Yanks could activate Gardner for defense, running

Outfielder says his legs feel good, may be included on postseason roster

NEW YORK -- The Yankees are considering activating Brett Gardner as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement, a transaction that could occur as soon as Wednesday.

Gardner has resumed a hitting program following arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on July 24, and while he is not close to swinging a bat against big league pitching, the Yankees believe his speed can be an asset down the stretch.

"He can play defense if we needed him to play some defense," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's not going to be able to hit, but you have enough guys on your bench that if his spot came up in a crazy game, you could do something."

The Yankees would need to execute a 40-man roster move to activate Gardner, who played just nine games this season before injuring his elbow making a diving catch on April 17 at Yankee Stadium.

"I've been taking fly balls since the last homestand," Gardner said. "The last few days since the team's been home, I've been throwing to bases and running; obviously, keeping my legs in shape. My legs feel good, so I feel good."

Girardi said that Gardner's limitations wouldn't necessarily nix him from a potential postseason roster spot.

"I wouldn't say he's completely ruled out," Girardi said. "I'm sure it's something that, if you're sitting around the table, you would talk about it."

Gardner said that he is currently taking light swings with zero contact and is hoping to elevate to batting practice within the next two weeks. Hitting against live pitching, for now, is not an option.

"I think if the timetable works out, maybe the last few days of the season I could be ready for that, but there's no need in me even speculating on that," Gardner said.

"I know what my role is. I'm obviously excited to do that. I realize with that sort of thing, I might not play for a week. It just depends on how the games go and what kind of situations pop up, but I'm ready if they need me."

Gardner said that he has been able to practice bunting, dropping 60 to 80 bunts one recent afternoon, but Girardi said that wouldn't likely be a useful skill in games since opponents will know Gardner that isn't permitted to swing the bat.

"That's kind of a tough situation, because if people know he's not supposed to swing, you can basically play 30 feet away," Girardi said.

Teixeira not expected back until late September

NEW YORK -- The Yankees are not likely to have Mark Teixeira back in the lineup before the Sept. 27-30 series against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio channel that "I don't think [Teixeira is] close to getting back here," and manager Joe Girardi agreed that the Yankees will continue to be conservative with Teixeira's Grade 1 strain of his left calf.

"I would not be surprised if it takes that long," Girardi said. "As of Sunday, he still had soreness. It's not progressing as quickly as we'd like, but we have to get him right."

Teixeira irritated the calf injury attempting to beat out a double-play ball in the ninth inning of a 5-4 loss to the Orioles on Sept. 8.

Meanwhile, Teixeira made some news off the field on Tuesday. The switch-hitter was named as the Yankees' 2012 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet.

The annual award recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.

Girardi takes wait-and-see approach with Jeter

NEW YORK -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi never filled out a lineup card for Tuesday's rainout against the Blue Jays, so we'll never know if Derek Jeter would have been in it.

"We'll see where he's at [Wednesday]," Girardi said. "I didn't have to play him today, so that's good. That gives that foot an extra days' rest."

Jeter has been hobbled by a bone bruise to his left ankle and has served as the designated hitter in the Yankees' last four games.

On Sunday, Girardi was not sure if Jeter was healthy enough to resume playing shortstop. Girardi also said that he did not know if Jeter would be a player for him in both games of Wednesday's doubleheader.

"That's a wait-and-see," Girardi said. "My guess is he'll tell me he feels great and he'll want to play both, but I'll have to see."

Bombers bits

• On this date in 1956, Mickey Mantle hit his 50th home run of the season at Chicago's Comiskey Park, an 11th inning blast that lifted the Yankees to a 3-2 victory over the White Sox.

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.