ST. PETERSBURG -- Mark Teixeira expects to begin a Minor League rehabilitation assignment next week with the Double-A Trenton Thunder, and the Yankees first baseman believes his first big league action of the season is just around the corner.
Teixeira has not played since injuring his right wrist on March 6, but he will advance to extended spring training games this weekend at the Yanks' complex in Tampa, Fla. Teixeira is slated to join the Thunder for games on Wednesday and Thursday, and is eligible to be activated from the 60-day disabled list on May 30.
"If it was up to me, I would have been playing weeks ago, but we really made sure there wasn't any pain," Teixeira said. "They were like, 'If it's tight, if there's any pain, you're not allowed to swing hard.' That took a long time.
"Once I got to swinging, I was letting it go. By the second or third day of swinging at full speed, I felt normal. I've been feeling great the last couple weeks."
Teixeira said he had six at-bats in a simulated game on Friday and will play in extended spring games on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. Infielder Kevin Youkilis is also expected to play in Saturday's game against a collection of Pirates Minor Leaguers.
Teixeira said that he has been taking twice as many swings left-handed as right-handed, simulating what he would normally do if playing in big league games.
"Right-handed is always ahead, no matter what," Teixeira said. "That's my natural side. It's always ahead; more bat control right-handed. But my left-handed swing feels great right now."