Nick Swisher (knee) pinch hits vs. Jays

Updated: September 5, 2010, 5:18 PM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi decided to withhold right fielder Nick Swisher from the lineup for the third straight game because of soreness and stiffness in his left knee, but did pinch hit him in the eighth.

Greg Golson received the start in Swisher's place, while the red hot Marcus Thames was the DH.

Swisher had an MRI before the game that came back negative, which allowed Joe Girardi to use him as a pinch-hitter. "It is nice to have a picture to say it is not torn and it is not broken," Swisher said.

Second baseman Robinson Cano was also held out of the Yankee lineup, but manager Joe Girardi said it was just a day off. Ramiro Pena replaced Cano at second.

Swisher originally hurt the knee in Toronto on Aug. 24 when he fouled a ball off it. After missing some time, Swisher appeared to be fine, but he has now missed the past three games.

"Sometimes swelling irritates it," Girardi said before Sunday's game. "He came back and playing every day bothered it, but he's been saying he feels better every day, so that's a good sign."

Meanwhile, Andy Pettitte, who is trying to return from his groin injury, does not know yet if he will start a minor league game on Wednesday or not. Pettitte plans on throwing another bullpen on Sunday before moving to the next step. If the bullpen Sunday goes well and he feels fine after throwing on Wednesday, then Pettitte could be in line to return around Sept. 13 in Tampa to pitch in a major league game.

"It would be up to me to see if I feel like I'm ready to face major league hitters," Pettitte said of pitching by Sept. 13.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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