Yankees' Duncan feeling better after blood clot treament

Updated: February 4, 2008, 3:11 PM ET
Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- Shelley Duncan is at early spring training workouts, healthy and looking forward to the season following offseason treatment for a blood clot.

"It was a roller coaster," Duncan said Monday. "Any time you have health problems that are not the norm with playing baseball, it's something to worry about, especially when you get to the point you don't know what's wrong with you. It's pretty scary. Fortunately, the doctors that we have took care of me, and I'm able to do what I'm doing now."

Duncan spent more than six years in the minor leagues before being called up by the Yankees last July and became a fan favorite after hitting three homers during his first weekend in the majors.

He put on a power display during batting practice Monday before working out at first base with new Yankees bench coach Rob Thomson.

"Fortunately, all the little health problems I had to deal with, they were timed perfectly enough where it didn't affect what I normally do in the offseason," Duncan said. "So I got to get on my normal offseason regiment. I'm just happy to be down here now so I can get focused."

Duncan will be competing for time at first base with Morgan Ensberg, Wilson Betemit, Jason Lane and Jason Giambi, who is heading into the final season of his $120 million, seven-year contract.

Duncan also played both corner outfield positions last season along with first base.

"If they need me to focus more on one, we'll get it done. I'm not afraid of working hard," Duncan said.

Giambi played only 18 games at first base last year and 53 at designated hitter, hobbled for much of the season by a foot injury.

Notes: Duncan took BP with C Jorge Posada. ... RHPs Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Jeff Karstens started their third week throwing off the mound. ... Other pitchers working out include RHP Brian Bruney, and LHPs Chase Wright, Sean Henn, Billy Traber and Heath Phillips.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press