Nick Swisher (knee) could start Friday

Updated: September 15, 2010, 12:08 AM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher's bruised right knee will keep him out of the lineup until at least Friday, according to manager Joe Girardi. Swisher has not started since Sunday, but he has pinch-hit.

On Tuesday, Swisher had his second MRI on the knee and learned there is nothing broken or structurally wrong; it is just inflamed. Swisher had a cortisone shot that may dull the pain, allowing him to possibly start Friday when the Yankees are in Baltimore.

"I'm going to be back as soon as I can," Swisher said.

Swisher pinch-hit on Monday, but could barely run down to first. He has dealt with the injury since Aug. 24 when he fouled a ball off his knee in Toronto. He has shuttled in and out of the lineup since then.

"We'll keep evaluating it," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Although Swisher doesn't know when he will return to the lineup, he was happy that there was nothing more wrong with him.

"It is the first time I have smiled in a few days," Swisher said.

Also, outfielder Brett Gardner was out of the lineup for Tuesday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays because of a sore right wrist.

Gardner got a cortisone shot Monday and is available to play defense and pinch run. He could start again within the next few days.

"It's a lot better," Gardner said.

Gardner came on as a defensive replacement in left field in the bottom of the 10th inning for the final three outs of the Yankees' 8-7 win over Tampa Bay. New York regained the first place in the AL East by a half-game over second-place Tampa.

Andrew Marchand covers baseball for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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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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