NEW YORK -- Second baseman Robinson Cano returned to the Yankees' starting lineup for Thursday's 11-5 loss to the Royals, one night being hit in the front of the head by a Nate Adcock pitch.
Cano, who left Wednesday's 11-inning, 4-3 loss after being beaned in the fifth inning, underwent a CT scan that came back clean. A follow-up appointment with a neurologist on Thursday also went well, and manager Joe Girardi was able to start Cano at second base and in his customary fifth spot in the batting order. Cano also ran on a treadmill to accelerate his heartrate and encountered no problems.
Cano said that he felt fine. The second baseman also said he would wear an oversized Rawlings S100 helmet for extra protection if he had to, but he would prefer not to. Backup catcher Francisco Cervelli wears that model, and Cano joked that he didn't want to look like Cervelli.
"I feel good," Cano said after Thursday's game, in which he hit his ninth homer, showing no ill effects of being hit. "I hope not to get hit again. I tried it last year once. The helmet is huge and heavy. I hope I don't have to use it."
Playing Cano at second base allowed Girardi to start Eduardo Nunez at shortstop and slide Derek Jeter to designated hitter for one night. Nunez entered Thursday having committed five errors in 22 innings at shortstop this season, but Girardi hopes that regular action at the position will help.
"I've seen this kid play short, and he's played it very well," Girardi said. "He's made some throwing errors, there's no doubt about it. You want him to get beyond that and get back to being the guy that he is. Part of that may be that he didn't play a lot at the beginning."
Cano has played 159 or more games in every season since 2007. He missed a game in Detroit last week with a bruised left hand but has proven durable since a hamstring injury sidelined him in 2006.