Youkilis, Chamberlain And Nunez Also Progressing

TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez started his third week of on-field work by adding defensive drills and hitting in a cage.

The 37-year-old, recuperating from left hip surgery on Jan. 16, fielded grounders and took 25 swings during a batting practice session in an indoor cage Monday at the Yankees’ minor league complex.

A-Rod, who has been hitting off a tee and taking swings at underhand soft tosses, ran from pole to pole near the warning track four times.

“Not bad,” Rodriguez said when leaving the player’s parking lot.

New York expects A-Rod to return after the All-Star break.

“I think it’s different, taking ground balls and playing in a game,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Monday. “It’s ground balls right at you. And the swinging, the violence in the swing. There’s a lot that has to happen. There’s a lot of hurdles.

Girardi added: “He’s going to have to go through basically a full spring training. … I don’t really want to put a date on it, because I don’t know how he’s going to respond.”

First baseman Mark Teixeira, sidelined by a right wrist injury, took another step toward playing in minor league games by batting in a simulated game against a pair of minor league pitchers. Teixeira has been out since injuring his wrist with the U.S. on March 5 before the World Baseball Classic.

“It’s definite progress for him,” said Girardi. “We want to see him have a lot of at-bats and see how the wrist responds to that. Today was the first step, so I’m really curious to see how he feels tomorrow.”

Corner infielder Kevin Youkilis, on the disabled list with a lumbar spine sprain, continued taking on-field batting practice. He took grounders at third and made throws to both first and second base.

Youkilis also participated in Teixeira’s simulated game but tracked the pitches and did not swing.

NOTES: RHP Joba Chamberlain (right oblique strain) had a bullpen session and is expected to throw in a minor league game this week. … SS Eduardo Nunez (oblique strain) fielded grounders.

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