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Soriano returns to lineup despite sprained thumb

Soriano returns to lineup despite sprained thumb

Soriano returns to lineup despite sprained thumb

BOSTON -- If this were not the middle of a heated September playoff chase, Alfonso Soriano said that he would probably take a few games off to allow his sprained right thumb to properly heal.

That is not a luxury that Soriano or the Yankees can afford right now, and so the slugger told manager Joe Girardi that he wanted to be in Sunday's lineup against the Red Sox. The thumb may not be perfect, but it's good enough.

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"We're in the race and it's not time to take a day off," Soriano said. "I just want to do the best I can and help the team to win."

Soriano was batting cleanup for the Yankees as they try to avoid a three-game sweep by the Red Sox.

He bent his thumb backward making a diving catch on Thursday against the Orioles in Baltimore and then aggravated the injury by sliding headfirst while stealing second base on Friday against the Red Sox.

"For me not to play [Saturday], I had to feel very bad," Soriano said. "I did a lot of treatment yesterday and I'm feeling better today."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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