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Berkman close, other Yanks progressing

Berkman close, other Yanks progressing

CHICAGO -- The Yankees could be getting reinforcements off the disabled list soon.

Designated hitter Lance Berkman, out since Aug. 16 with a right ankle sprain, is scheduled to run on Sunday before the series finale against the White Sox. If all goes well, Berkman can be playing in a rehab game as quickly as Monday.

"It's good," said Berkman. "I can run around and do what I need to do."

Andy Pettitte, meanwhile, will throw another bullpen session on Sunday after his successful session on Friday. Pettitte will toss about 30 pitches from a full mound, although he's not sure exactly how much he'll push off the mound in testing his strained left groin.

For Pettitte, the major test will still be facing hitters.

"I don't think you can ever get the same intensity as a game," manager Joe Girardi said. "You can try, you can say I'm going to do it, but until you actually get in that game, you're not going to know."

Alex Rodriguez may start hitting as early as Monday, with the third baseman eligible to come off the disabled list on Sept. 5.

Finally, Alfredo Aceves was roughed up for the second consecutive rehab assignment on Friday night. Aceves tossed 1 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on two hits and two walks for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In his previous outing, with Double-A Trenton, Aceves surrendered three runs on six hits (five doubles) in 1 1/3 innings.

"He was up in the zone and wasn't sharp," Girardi said, adding that Aceves has not had any physical issues. "We obviously want to get him back, and it's important that we get him sharp. We don't run him out there if he's not ready to go. He needs to continue to pitch until he gets there."

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