Mark Teixeira out with thumb, toe issues

Updated: September 19, 2010, 11:03 AM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

BALTIMORE -- Mark Teixeira, held out of the Yankees lineup Saturday night due to lingering injuries to his right foot and right thumb, said he has been "playing in a lot of pain.''

And he is not sure whether he will ever be pain-free at any time this season or in the postseason.

"That's a concern and that's why we're taking a day off,'' said Teixeira, who last got a rest on Aug. 29 in Chicago, the day after jamming his thumb while diving for a ball down the first-base line. "This has been the toughest two or three-week stretch of my career and the fact is, I haven't been producing.''

Two days after the thumb injury, Teixeira fouled a ball off his foot against the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium, breaking the pinky toe. In the month of September, Teixeira has hit just .211 with no home runs and only 6 RBIs. "It's one thing if you're out there playing hurt and you're doing well,'' Teixeira said. "Then you can deal with it and play through it. But it's affecting my swing, it's affecting the way I run the bases, it's affecting me on defense. I gotta get healthy.''

Teixeira said at another point in the season, or if the Yankees enjoyed a wider lead in the AL East race, he might have considered taking a longer stretch of games off.

"I'm not sure I would have gone on the DL, but I would have taken some more time off,'' he said. "I could have played through the pain of the toe, but when you add in the thumb, it's affected my swing.''

Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Teixeira after Friday night's 4-3 victory he would not play on Saturday. In Teixeira's place, Lance Berkman is playing first base Saturday night. Girardi said he has seen no drop-off in Teixeira's play since the two injuries, but agreed his first baseman needed a rest.

"He's got a high pain threshold and he's played really well and as long as he says he's OK, we're gonna run him out there,'' Girardi said. "But we had a day off Thursday and giving him today means he'll have had two out of three days off and that may help a little.''

Girardi also agreed that continuing to play Teixeira may ensure he does not fully recover in time for the playoffs.

"There's a lot of guys playing in pain now, that's just how it is,'' Girardi said. "I would love to get him back to 100 percent but we may not get him 100 percent for the rest of the year.''

Teixeira said he wasn't sure how much good a single day off would do him. "I hope it's realistic,'' he said. "But we haven't given it a chance to heal. I haven't taken any days off other than the one with the thumb so maybe this day off will help. The hope is I can get better and go into the playoffs healthy.''

Wallace Matthews covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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