Berkman feels he's available to pinch-hit

Berkman feels he's available to pinch-hit

NEW YORK -- Lance Berkman acknowledged that it probably wasn't the ideal choice in footwear, but after jamming his right ankle in Sunday's game at Kansas City, the Yankees designated hitter had no other options.

So Berkman tugged on the cowboy boot he wore to Kauffman Stadium and hoofed it to the team charter, ripping it off once he started feeling his ankle swell in the air. The discomfort is still there, but Berkman believes he can be considered to pinch-hit.

"I've turned this thing a couple of times," Berkman said. "I've had this issue since high school football. It's really never taken more than a day or two. This time, it's a little more swollen than it normally is."

Berkman said that he thinks he can get back to DHing by the weekend, but gamely offered that he'd pinch-hit now and "hobble on it, Kirk Gibson-style," which came as good news to manager Joe Girardi.

"We're probably going to have to pinch-run for him, but if he's available to me, that would be great," Girardi said.