NEW YORK -- First baseman Mark Teixeira was not in the Yankees' starting lineup again on Friday, but he is optimistic that his return is coming soon.
Teixeira has been out of the lineup since Monday, after an MRI revealed a mild strain of his lower left lat. He had been receiving treatment all week and rested until Friday, when he participated in some slow rotation exercises, and he is expected to do the same Saturday.
"Today was, I think, the best day," Teixeira said before the Yankees' 6-4 win Friday. "I feel good with where I am, but now, since I've been shut down for so long, we have to kind of take it easy the next few days and hopefully progress to taking full swings here soon."
Brian McCann has filled in as the team's primary first baseman while Teixeira is out and Kelly Johnson is on the DL (left groin).
Teixeira hoped that if he could swing a bat for the first time since the injury on Friday that he could return to the lineup as early as Sunday. But manager Joe Girardi said after Friday's game that a return that soon is unlikely.
"I don't think that's probably realistic," Girardi said. "Because he's going to have to take some BP first. He is getting better. That's the good thing."
Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.