DETROIT -- Brett Gardner said Tuesday that his bruised right ankle is showing signs of improvement, and the Yankees outfielder is moving closer to returning to the lineup.
Gardner said that he expects to be in the Yankees' lineup on Wednesday, having run for the first time since he sustained the injury on a foul ball on Saturday against the White Sox.
"I don't have any idea how it's going to feel, but I know it feels a whole lot better than it did yesterday," Gardner said before Tuesday's 5-2 Yankees loss.
Gardner hit in the cages for a second consecutive day Tuesday, having also taken swings in Kansas City the night before. He had wanted to run the bases during batting practice Tuesday, but rain forced the Yankees and Tigers to do their hitting in the underground cages at Comerica Park.
"My concern was he said he felt better but he needed to run," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Gardy's pretty tough and Gardy's played through a lot, which made me believe that it's probably not 100 percent, which it might not be for a while.
"This extra day will probably do us some good. My concern is that he favors it or that he gets out there and he can't run, and then I've got to make a change. It can just really mess things up."