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Injured Yankees on mend for opener

Injured Yankees on mend for opener

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TAMPA, Fla. -- Nick Johnson? Check.

Damaso Marte? Check.

Francisco Cervelli? Check.

Despite some 11th-hour worries to the contrary, the Yankees broke camp on Saturday with all their injured players in tow. Johnson, who fouled a ball off his right knee on Friday, should start Sunday at designated hitter on Opening Night against the Red Sox. Marte and Alfredo Aceves felt well enough to make the bullpen, prompting the Yankees to option lefty Boone Logan -- their standby relief option -- to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Catcher Jorge Posada and his backup, Cervelli, reported no setbacks from their injuries.

Just like that, a frustrating week melted into a weekend of relief.

"Obviously if something came up between now and [Sunday], that could change," manager Joe Girardi said. "But we expect them to be fine."

Johnson became the team's most pressing issue after he fouled a ball off his right knee in Friday afternoon's game against the Orioles. Though Johnson didn't participate in any baseball activities Saturday, spending the entire day receiving treatment, the Yankees don't anticipate his bruised knee being an issue on Opening Night. Johnson should hit second in the order.

"He should be OK [Sunday]," Girardi said prior to Saturday's exhibition against the Yankees' Future Stars. "He feels pretty good today."

"It's sore," Johnson said. "But once I get out there, I'll just go play ball."

Marte also received treatment on his "cranky shoulder" and played catch on Saturday. Neither he nor Aceves -- who pitched in a Minor League game on Friday -- reported any setbacks.

"We worked hard on my arm, so today it feels better," Marte said. "I think the inflammation's almost gone."

And the Yankees' catching situation, too, is stable. Posada, who had been nursing a sore neck earlier this week, caught three innings in Saturday's exhibition and showed no ill effects, booming a double to left field in the third. Away from the main field, Cervelli took batting practice, caught in the bullpen and rode a stationary bike.

"It's better than yesterday," Cervelli said of his hamstring. "Just a little tight, but not like the first day."

The Yankees did add a bit of catching depth on Saturday, signing Chad Moeller to a Minor League contract. Barring further injury issues, Moeller will serve as Jesus Montero's backup at Triple-A Scranton.

The Yankees released catcher Mike Rivera to make room on the roster.

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