MIAMI -- In Clearwater, Fla., roughly 250 miles northwest of where the Yankees are stationed at Land Shark Stadium, outfielder Xavier Nady is inching his way toward a return.
Nady went 0-for-4 in an extended spring training game on Saturday, more importantly playing five innings in right field and making throws across the field. Nady, who opted against surgery to repair a partially torn ligament in his right elbow in April, could begin a Minor League rehab assignment as soon as next week.
"I heard he did well," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, referencing both Saturday's game and the one that preceded it on Friday. "I heard he did well the other day, too. He had to make some throws. He had to hit the cutoff man -- a throw home, a throw to second. He felt good."
After leaving the Yankees early this week to begin a rehab program in Florida, Nady has been working out at the team's Minor League complex across the state in Tampa, Fla. He will not play the outfield on Sunday -- a routinely scheduled off-day -- and Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman will talk on Monday regarding Nady's next step.
"The great thing about playing down there is he gets a ton of at-bats," Girardi said of Nady's current assignment in extended spring training.
Nady, 30, left a game on April 14 after feeling a sharp pain in his elbow while making a routine throw to the infield. Five medical tests later, the Yankees determined that he could rehab without undergoing season-ending surgery -- which he has been doing since. Nady was batting .286 in seven games before the injury. He hit .268 with 12 homers in 59 games after joining the team last year.
Originally expected back four to six weeks after his injury, Nady suffered a setback during his first attempt at outfield play last month.
In other injury news, Girardi said that he expects backup catcher Jose Molina to begin playing rehab games within a week, though there's "still something there" in his strained left quad. And left-handed reliever Damaso Marte, rehabbing a bout of left shoulder inflammation, played catch from 90 feet. There is no immediate timetable for his return.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.