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Ryan excited to back with Yanks, healthy

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Ryan excited to back with Yanks, healthy

ANAHEIM -- After spending an extra four weeks in Florida on injury rehab, delaying the start of his season, infielder Brendan Ryan was elated to board a flight to California and join the Yankees for Tuesday's game against the Angels.

"I've seen enough of Tampa [Fla.] to know that I've seen way too much of Tampa," Ryan said.

Ryan has been activated from the 15-day disabled list, having recovered from a cervical spine nerve injury. In a corresponding move, the Yankees placed right-hander Michael Pineda on the disabled list; Pineda was reinstated from his 10-game suspension on Tuesday.

"Physically, I'm a whole lot better than before. Really, no restrictions," Ryan said. "I feel great. Basically, I've just got to stay on top of my stuff, and I think if I do that, this thing won't come back. All good moving forward."

The Yankees plan to use Ryan mostly as a backup for shortstop Derek Jeter, though manager Joe Girardi said that he has not yet decided how often Ryan will be used to spell the captain.

"As I told you, I'll watch Derek as we go through the whole year," Girardi said. "Just because Brendan is here won't change my view on how I view Derek."

Girardi said that he also could consider playing Ryan at second or third bases, positions where he has a smattering of prior big league experience. Ryan said that he took some ground balls at second base while he was in Florida, but played only shortstop during his seven rehab games for Class A Advanced Tampa and Double-A Trenton.

"I'll be ready to play every day, whether it's one inning or to start or whatever," Ryan said. "It's something I'll make clear. If they need me to tape ankles today, I'll do that, too.

"Whatever they need me for, I'm ready for it. I played in the National League for [Tony] La Russa, and it's the same kind of deal there. You never know. Be ready for anything. It kind of makes it fun, too."

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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