NEW YORK -- Mark Teixeira's hacking cough was so violent and persistent on Tuesday, first-base umpire Jim Reynolds asked the Yankees slugger if he needed to stop the game at one point.
Teixeira took that as a sign, believing it might be time to get a professional opinion. The first baseman saw a chest specialist on Wednesday at New York Presbyterian Hospital and has been treated for inflamed airways in his chest.
"I had one of my episodes in [the doctor's] office, and she goes, 'Oh, I know what that is,'" Teixeira said. "It's so inflamed. Basically, I have no air coming up and down, which is why I'm choking and not being able to talk and that kind of stuff."
Teixeira has been fighting illness since the Yankees' Welcome Home Dinner on April 12, which is where he believes his troubles started. He had a CT scan and breathing tests on Wednesday and said that he is 100 percent healthy other than the inflammation.
"I caught something at that Welcome Home Dinner," Teixeira said. "That caused a cough, and because of our travel schedule and the weather's been bad and having to play every day, I just never got over the cough part of it. It just got worse and worse, to the point that my chest is basically closed up now."
Teixeira said that he has had to cut back some of his workouts and that he has been winded more easily when running, though he hasn't had to ask out of the lineup.
To help open his chest, Teixeira was prescribed a steroid, which he said did not have to be cleared with Major League Baseball -- "It's not anabolic," Teixeira laughed.
"It's good news, because that's the only thing we haven't tried," Teixeira said. "We've literally tried everything else."