Martin likely 'back to stay' for Yanks on Saturday

Martin likely 'back to stay' for Yanks on Saturday

NEW YORK -- Before Friday's 14-7 loss to the White Sox, Yankees catcher Russell Martin felt as good as he has since Saturday, when his back stiffness first popped up, but he remained out of the starting lineup.

"The last time he told me he felt good, I don't think he was quite 100 percent," said manager Joe Girardi. "Maybe tomorrow or the next day [Martin will return]."

Girardi inserted Martin as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning on Friday, and the manager does not expect the catcher's pain to be an issue he'll need to manage throughout the rest of the season.

Martin has dealt with stiffness or tenderness in his lower back every day since he first felt it during batting practice at Citi Field. There was no discomfort on Friday, although the catcher admittedly met with the media right after receiving treatment and prior to taking swings, which irritates him the most.

"I feel pretty good right now," Martin said. "I think tomorrow will be the day that I'm back in the lineup and back to stay in the lineup."