TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher played five innings in a Minor League game on Friday and is close to returning to the lineup from a left groin injury.
Swisher has not appeared in Grapefruit League action since he had difficulty running out a ground ball in a March 14 game against the Blue Jays.
"I feel pretty good," Swisher said. "I feel like I'm almost ready to really take the chains off and just let it go. I just have to stay under control here for a little bit as long as we have the days to make that necessary."
Swisher said that he expects to be ready for Opening Day. He is not on the Yankees' trip to Kissimmee, Fla. on Saturday, but is scheduled to play against the Marlins in Miami on Sunday and Monday, as well as the Mets on Tuesday in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
"I'm almost to the point where I don't even think about it anymore, which is a good thing," Swisher said. "After you have an injury, that's the biggest thing, having the confidence to know that you're able to do all the things you used to be able to do. For me, I feel like I'm right on that doorstep. I'll be ready."