Teixeira hopes to return by Thursday

Teixeira hopes to return by Thursday

TAMPA, Fla. -- Mark Teixeira's right elbow remained heavily wrapped while he waited for the swelling to go down, but the Yankees first baseman is expected to return to Grapefruit League action as early as Thursday.

Teixeira was drilled by a fastball from the Orioles' Jeremy Guthrie on Monday in Sarasota, Fla., and said that beneath the bandages that indentations of seams are still very visible. Teixeira said that he is continuing treatment, and he swung off a tee in the cages at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Wednesday.

"It's better. There's still some swelling in there, but it's not too bad," Teixeira said. "I'm getting my range of motion back, my strength back. I'm very happy."

Once Teixeira does return to action, he may try wearing a protective elbow guard for a few days at the recommendation of assistant athletic trainer Steve Donohue, though Teixeira has never liked the feeling of having something extra inhibiting his motion.

Teixeira said that he considered himself fortunate not to be discussing a more serious injury after Guthrie's pitch got away.

"Anytime you get hit on a bone, a lot of bad things can happen, so I feel very blessed to only be out a couple of days," Teixeira said.