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Yanks being cautious with Youkilis' sore oblique

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TAMPA, Fla. -- Kevin Youkilis said that he hopes to return to the Yankees' spring lineup on Thursday after missing two days with what he called a cramp above his left hip.

The Yankees officially termed Youkilis' injury as a sore left oblique. Youkilis said that he is "perfectly all right" and resumed swinging a fungo bat on Wednesday with no problems.

"If they let me play [Thursday], I'm totally in for playing tomorrow," Youkilis said. "We don't usually even play games until March 1. I like playing baseball and don't like sitting around, so that's the only worry I have all the time. I like being out there playing."

Manager Joe Girardi scratched Youkilis from Tuesday's roster against the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla., and told Youkilis that the team wanted to be cautious at this stage of the spring.

"For me, the limitations of holding me back stinks, but I understand what they're doing," Youkilis said. "And it makes a lot of sense."

In the meantime, Youkilis said that there's no need to burn his down time thinking about the Yankee Stadium roll call and how he'll respond when the Bleacher Creatures chant his name for the first time on April 1.

"I'll probably ask [Derek] Jeter what to do, and whatever Jeter tells me to do, I'll do," Youkilis said. "We'll figure it out."

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