- Wallace Matthews, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- Jorge Posada is the latest Yankee to wind up on the disabled list after an MRI revealed he has a hairline fracture on the bottom of his right foot.
The injury is expected to keep Posada out of action for three to four weeks, according to manager Joe Girardi. Posada suffered the injury when the Minnesota Twins' Michael Cuddyer fouled a ball off the top of his foot in the eighth inning of a game on Sunday.
"It just wasn't feeling right," said Posada, 38, whose injury was originally described as "a knot" on the top of his foot from where the ball struck him. "The pain moved from the top of the foot to the bottom and I was hoping it was just a bone bruise. But I woke up this morning and I was still limping a little bit so we decided to get an MRI."
Girardi, who made the announcement after the Yankees lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 10-6 Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium to drop four games back in the AL East race, said Posada's injury would be encased in a boot, although he did not know for how long. "We're thinking it'll be three to four weeks before we can get him back on the field," he said.
Posada's injury leaves Francisco Cervelli as the only experienced catcher on the Yankees' major league roster. Girardi refused to say what the club would do to replace Posada, but the Yankees do have veteran Chad Moeller, recently released by the Orioles, in their minor-league system as well as 20-year-old prospect Jesus Montero, currently hitting .229 with three HRs and 19 RBIs for Triple-A Scranton.
"We're still discussing what we're going to do," Girardi said. "I think by four or five o'clock [Thursday] we'll have a pretty good idea what we're going to do."
Posada is the latest Yankee to go on the DL, joining center fielder Curtis Granderson (groin strain), DH Nick Johnson (wrist surgery) and reliever Alfredo Aceves (lower back strain). Previously, reliever Chan Ho Park missed 30 games with a hamstring strain but rejoined the team on Monday. And outfielder Nick Swisher has missed four games with soreness in his left bicep. His return is still unknown.
On Wednesday, outfielder Marcus Thames sprained his left ankle. He is listed as day to day.
"We can't feel sorry for ourselves. Teams playing us don't feel sorry for us," shortstop Derek Jeter said. "Other guys have to pick it up."
Posada, a five-time All-Star, is batting .326 with six homers and 14 RBIs. He also has eight doubles and a .406 on-base percentage.
"He's our catcher, a DH, switch-hitter. It's a big hurdle. We're going to have to overcome it," pitcher A.J. Burnett said.
Posada missed 22 games last May with a strained right hamstring. He is a dangerous presence in the middle of the lineup and a respected veteran in the clubhouse, one of the Yankees' lauded "Core Four" along with Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera.
"It's tough, no matter what," Posada said. "You want to be out there. You see the team losing, you see the team struggling and you want to help. I really can't tell you how frustrating it is."
The 24-year-old Cervelli has played extremely well this season, emerging as a pleasant surprise at the plate. He's hitting .373 with no homers and 17 RBIs in 67 at-bats, but he's not a power threat and he knows how valuable Posada is to the Yankees.
"That's sad," Cervelli said after hearing the news. "Everybody knows we need him."
Girardi said Swisher will be evaluated again Thursday to see if he can play. The switch-hitter hasn't been able to swing left-handed, and right-hander James Shields starts Thursday night for the Rays against Pettitte.
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