NEW YORK -- The Yankees removed Kelly Johnson from right field before the 11th inning of Tuesday's 2-1 win over the Rangers due to a groin injury.
Johnson told manager Joe Girardi and head athletic trainer Steve Donohue that he injured himself while running to first base on a groundout to second base in the 10th inning. Johnson was replaced by Ichiro Suzuki.
"He thought it might have been a cramp," Girardi said. "We sent him for an MRI to find out what was going on."
With Chase Headley now on the Yankees' active roster, Girardi said before the game that he might play Johnson occasionally in right field, where Johnson made his first career start on Tuesday.
"He's played mostly left field, but I think he's athletic enough that it shouldn't be a problem," Girardi said. "I might have to do it if we can't get Carlos [Beltran] out there, because I can't run these guys out there every day."
Suzuki has been the Yanks' regular right fielder since Beltran was limited to designated-hitter duties in the middle of May because of a bone spur in his right elbow.
The Yankees have also used Zelous Wheeler in right field, but Girardi said the team would like to have the option of using Beltran defensively; the veteran resumed playing catch on Monday.
"I think he'll probably play [catch] two days in a row and take a day off," Girardi said of Beltran. "We'll try to get him out there."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Jake Kring-Schreifels is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less