Abreu takes BP for first time since injury

3/16/2007 - MLB Bobby Abreu New York Yankees + more

TAMPA, Fla. -- Bobby Abreu took batting practice in a cage against a pitcher for the first time since straining his right oblique last month.

Abreu took 55 swings Friday, including some at almost full intensity.

"I tried to push it a little bit more," the New York Yankees right fielder said. "It was fine. I feel great. I didn't hurt at all. That makes me feel good."

Abreu may take batting practice on the field this weekend and hopes to be ready for Opening Day on April 2.

"I still have two weeks," Abreu said. "I'm on track right now."

Yankees catcher Wil Nieves, out with right biceps soreness, swung a bat and is hopeful of returning early next week.

New York right-hander Humberto Sanchez, sidelined by right elbow inflammation, threw 25 pitches during his second half-mound session. He is expected to throw another session Sunday.

Yankees pitching coach Ron Guidry said all the starting pitchers will get an extra day of rest with next week's off day. That lines up Chien Ming-Wang or Andy Pettitte to pitch the opener against Tampa Bay.