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Jeter, A-Rod among bruised Yanks

Jeter, A-Rod among bruised Yanks

NEW YORK -- When the Yankees boarded their flight to Seattle late Wednesday afternoon, they took with them a slew of injured players and no easy answers.

Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, both hit by pitches, are questionable for Thursday's series opener against the Mariners -- Rodriguez more uncertain than Jeter. Catcher Jorge Posada, who took a foul ball off his right hand and a series of other pitches off his body during Wednesday's 4-3 win over the Blue Jays, is also unsure whether he will play. And closer Mariano Rivera, who woke up Wednesday with a sore right shoulder, is similarly in question.

Just like that, the Yankees went from being remarkably healthy to quite incomplete, and they cannot be sure of the status of their wounded players until they wake up Thursday.

Jeter was the first to be injured, having taken a Ricky Romero curveball off his right foot in the first inning on Wednesday. Though he remained in the game and took another at-bat, Jeter did not run down the first-base line well on his fielder's-choice grounder, leaving the game before the Yankees took the field in the top of the third.

"I wasn't moving too good, so they decided to take me out," Jeter said.

"There is a concern that he'll be sore tomorrow," manager Joe Girardi said after the win.

X-rays taken on Jeter's right foot were negative, and Ramiro Pena took over for the Yankees' captain at shortstop.

In the 11th inning, Rodriguez set up the winning rally in a similar fashion -- by taking a pitch off his body. This time, it was a fastball from Shawn Camp that drilled Rodriguez on the padding of his left elbow. Rodriguez's protective guard did no good, as he immediately fell to the ground and stayed there for several moments, eventually taking first base after a talk with Girardi and the Yankees' training staff.

"My hand went numb," Rodriguez said. "As long as I've been wearing the pad, I've never had that type of pain before."

Had the Yankees not won the game later that inning, Rodriguez may have had to exit -- but New York, which had pinch-hit for Pena and was playing Jerry Hairston Jr. at shortstop, would have had no logical replacement at third base.

It was a situation the Yankees were happy to avoid.

Moving forward, considering that Girardi was planning on giving Rodriguez a routine day off anyway on Thursday, it is almost certain that he will sit out the opener in Seattle. But Girardi also said that although X-rays were negative on Rodriguez's elbow, he may need to miss more than one game.

"Let's hope it's just one day," Girardi said.

The prognosis for both Posada and Rivera was a bit more encouraging. Posada, who took a foul ball off his hand in the eighth inning on Wednesday, was also bombarded by errant pitches all day -- in part because of A.J. Burnett's lack of control, and in part because he and Burnett crossed up signs several times.

"I got hit everywhere," Posada said. "It felt like a boxing match."

Girardi said he will reassess Posada on Thursday.

"He's probably going to be a little sore tomorrow," Girardi said shortly after Wednesday's win. "There's a chance he'll be off tomorrow, too."

Rivera's situation was the least worrisome, despite the fact that the closer woke up with stiffness in his shoulder. It is the type of thing that happens to 39-year-old shoulders from time to time, Girardi said, and it should not be a concern moving forward.

"Sometimes, when you wake up in the morning, your arm doesn't feel alive like it does on other days," Girardi said. "It's not a concern of mine. Mo's had this before. He has a lot of saves for us, and I'd be shocked if he's not ready tomorrow."

Rivera, who flew separately to Seattle due to personal -- not medical -- reasons, agreed.

"It's nothing that will keep me away," Rivera said.

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

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