NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez's nagging left thumb injury will keep him out of the Yankees' starting lineup at least another day, though the third baseman said he ramped up his workouts Friday at Yankee Stadium and feels confident he could play if called upon.
Rodriguez said "without a question" that the approach he and the club have taken is the most conservative, noting that the Yankees are looking out for Rodriguez's well-being in the long run.
"We realize the next two months are the most important ones," Rodriguez said before the Yankees' series opener against the visiting Blue Jays on Friday. "Once we see the green light, we just don't want to come back and have any more setbacks."
He did not rule out coming in for a possible pinch-hit situation on Friday.
"It feels pretty good," Rodriguez said. "We had a good day today. Pretty much did everything -- hit live for the first time. It felt pretty good. And then met with the training staff and, overall, we're just going to take at least one more day."
Rodriguez said the team's success with him out of the lineup -- New York has won four of the five games he's missed due to the sprained left thumb -- has afforded him and the club the luxury of the conservative approach.
"We're just trying to be smart, and I think the team playing well has given us the luxury a little bit to be cautious," he said.
Rodriguez, hitting .289 with 14 homers and 53 RBIs this year, said he will wear a device to help soften the blow when he returns.
"I think you're going to feel something for the rest of the year," Rodriguez said. "You're going to pretty much concede to that. That's just not going to go away."
Eric Chavez started Friday's game at third base, while Nick Swisher was at first in place of Mark Teixeira, who has a bruised right knee after being hit by a pitch by Boston's Alfredo Aceves on Thursday. Manager Joe Girardi said Teixeira's time off could extend beyond Friday night.
"He's still sore today," Girardi said before Friday's game. "I don't know if we'll have him tomorrow. Maybe by the end of the weekend, it's possible. But he's still sore today. He'll get a lot of treatment today. We'll just have to go some time without him."
Teixeira is second on the club with 100 RBIs and 35 homers, while batting .248.