- Wallace Matthews, ESPNNewYork.com
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Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Saturday designed to get him back to the team by next weekend's series against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium.
Granderson, who has missed 18 games since suffering a Grade 2 strain of the left groin in a game May 1 against the White Sox, was at CitiField Friday night for the opening game of the three-game Subway Series between the Yankees and Mets, but did not plan on staying for more than an inning or so. Then, he was scheduled to fly to Louisville to join the Yankees Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre affiliate, for whom he is slated to DH on Saturday.
"I want to see how the environment is here," Granderson said. "I was looking forward to this series. I heard a lot about it, seen it on TV, so I want to catch an inning or so before I head for the airport."
Granderson said the tentative plan is for a five-game, alternating assignment -- DH on Saturday, play the outfield on Sunday, then back to DH Monday, outfield on Tuesday and then, following an off-day on Wednesday, play in the first game of a doubleheader on Thursday before rejoining the Yankees for the weekend series against the Indians, which begins Friday night in the Bronx
"I'm excited to get out there," he said. "I feel like it's the first game of spring training and I'm ready to play."
Granderson suffered the injury while going from first to third in the sixth inning of a 7-6 loss to the White Sox. He pulled up after rounding second but continued, limping, to third base, where he was removed from the game.
Since then, Granderson's recovery has proceeded rapidly. He has been taking batting practice and shagging flies for the past several days and took his regular turn in the cage before Friday night's game.
"We can only push it so much when you're not in a game situation, without fans in the stands and things being on the line, but so far, nothing is bothering me," he said. "I haven't had to run a double or triple out of the box hard or dive after a ball yet or anything, but it's been feeling better every day."
At the time of his injury, Granderson was hitting .265 with two homers and four RBIs. In his absence, Brett Gardner has performed well in the role of everyday center fielder. Gardner is currently hitting .330 with one home run and eight RBIs.
Curtis Granderson is going to Triple-A Scranton on a rehab assignment.