Nady had a second X-ray on Thursday and is scheduled for a CT scan Friday. He's trying to remain optimistic that he'll be able to return to the lineup this year.
"If you can avoid surgery at all costs, that's what you want to do," Nady said. "If there's a chance for rehab, it's obviously the best way to go. But I think you want to be 100 percent on what's going on in there, so they're going to have every test done."
Nady felt a sharp pain in his right elbow while making a throw Tuesday night at Tampa Bay. New York placed him on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, retroactive to a day earlier, and recalled right-handed reliever David Robertson from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Acquired last July from Pittsburgh, Nady had Tommy John surgery in September 2001. The Yankees hope he doesn't need the elbow ligament replacement procedure again, which would probably end his season.
"The fact that they want to do another test, there's some hope there," manager Joe Girardi said. "So we're going to wait to see what the test brings about tomorrow. I'm not sure when we'll have the results, because we have another day game. But they're not done testing."
The Yankees also plan to consult with Los Angeles Angels medical director Dr. Lewis Yocum, who performed Nady's previous elbow surgery.
Nady said he could swing a bat effectively five months after that operation, but it took longer to gain enough arm strength to play defense.
This injury could cost Nady a considerable amount of money because he can become a free agent after the season. Girardi said Wednesday that the initial report from an MRI exam on Nady's elbow was "not good."
"I don't know exactly what he wants to look at with the CT scan. Just the way I guess the bone is or something," Nady said. "I'm trying to stay as positive as I can. It's a frustrating process, but if there's any hope that it could be a shorter period than obviously having surgery, it would be a good end result and that's what I'm hoping for."
Switch-hitter Nick Swisher started in right field and batted cleanup Thursday as New York was routed 10-2 by Cleveland in the opening game at the new Yankee Stadium.
But the injury to Nady takes a dangerous right-handed bat out of the lineup, something the team was already missing following Alex Rodriguez's hip surgery. A-Rod is expected back by mid-May.
"To tell you the truth, it actually feels OK," Nady said. "The last two days, it's more sore from, you know, getting the dye injected. That kind of locks everything up, all the fluid. I've got good range, good strength."
Nady batted a combined .305 with 25 homers, 97 RBIs and a .510 slugging percentage last season with the Pirates and Yankees.
The 24-year-old Robertson made 25 appearances for the Yankees last season, going 4-0 with a 5.34 ERA.