Matsui's knee responding to treatment

Matsui's knee responds to treatment

NEW YORK -- Hideki Matsui is encouraged that the treatment of his left knee is yielding results and will allow him to remain in the Yankees' lineup as a designated hitter for the foreseeable future.

Matsui went 2-for-3 with a second-inning double, a run scored and a walk in the Yankees' 5-3 victory over the A's on Tuesday. He said that he has experienced more flexibility in the knee at the plate and on the bases.

"Little by little, it's getting better," Matsui said. "Every game is really important, so in terms of yesterday, I got a hit and I got a run. I was able to contribute to help to the team winning the game, so that was the important part."

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi said that Matsui had his surgically repaired knee drained on April 16, the Opening Day at the new Yankee Stadium.

But Matsui disputed that on Wednesday, telling MLB.com that he never had the knee drained. Instead, Matsui said he had a cortisone shot administered.

"I had the cortisone shot, I didn't have it drained," Matsui said. "There's no doubt that my knee felt better after the shot."

Girardi said Wednesday that Matsui's situation is one that he must continue to monitor, and the process will continue on a day-to-day basis likely for the entire season.

"It's still something I'm monitoring daily," Girardi said. "I check with him every day to see how he is. I've been very happy with the way he's swung the bat. Last night, he had to jump out of the way a bunch of times and he's been running the bases for us. I've been very pleased with what I saw since we got rid of the fluid."

Matsui is batting .235 (8-for-34) with one home run and three RBIs in 12 games for New York this season. He said that he was never concerned that the knee might require a stint on the disabled list.

"In my mind, I didn't think it was that bad," Matsui said. "Whether they'll put me on the DL, that's the team's decision. For me, I didn't feel it was that bad that I would have to go on the DL."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.