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Posada sidelined for at least 5 weeks

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NEW YORK — Jorge Posada stood in front of his locker, his right shoulder wrapped in bandages following treatment. The good news was the New York Yankees catcher didn’t need an operation now. The bad news was that he will be sidelined for at least five weeks. “I thought I was going to have to get surgery. We’re going to look at that option probably after the season,” Posada said before Friday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners. Posada thinks he hurt the shoulder as a result of compensating during spring training for a sore muscle in his right side, an injury that caused him to be scratched from the starting lineup on March 7. Yankees physician Dr. Stuart Hershon examined the 36-year-old catcher this week, as did orthopedist Dr. James Andrews and New York Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek. In addition, Cincinnati Reds team physician Dr. Timothy Kremchek, a shoulder specialist, reviewed scans Friday. “Let me make sure I get my `cheks’ right,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi joked as he described the evaluations. Posada said he has inflammation of the rotator cuff but the condition of his labrum was unchanged from a scan taken during the offseason for an insurance policy. “All the doctors agree,” he said. “It just needs rest.” Posada last played Saturday in Cleveland and the five-time All-Star is on the disabled list for the first time in his career. He is being treated with heat and ice. “We’re talking, you know, two weeks off from throwing, and see where we’re at from there,” Girardi said. “If everything goes OK to that point, my thought is probably two weeks of strengthening the arm with throwing, and then you start thinking about some games.” Posada would be able to catch only about five innings at first when he returns from a monthlong layoff, Girardi said, so he would need a rehabilitation assignment before rejoining the Yankees. “You have to build up some stamina,” Girardi said. New York also is missing third baseman Alex Rodriguez (strained right quadriceps) and starting pitcher Phil Hughes (fractured rib). Hughes had his eyes examined Friday and will start wearing glasses when he pitches. He has been bothered by glare during night games and has had trouble picking up signs from his catcher. “We can’t continue to go with what we’re doing because that doesn’t work unless we get all day games,” Girardi said. Hughes said he is slightly nearsighted. He didn’t feel comfortable wearing contact lenses, so he will wear frames similar to those used by Detroit’s Nate Robertson. “When I looked through the prescription, it made a pretty big difference,” he said. With Hughes out until at least July, the Yankees don’t plan to move Joba Chamberlain into the bullpen — at least not yet. “I’m sure as the months go on and weeks go on, conversations will continue to take place,” Girardi said. “For the time being, he’ll still in our bullpen.” Game notes
Jose Veras was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to fill Hughes’ roster spot. … After this weekend, New York won’t need a fifth starter until May 10, so it will skip the next turn by Ian Kennedy. He is 0-2 in six appearances this season, and Girardi thought he made progress at being more aggressive in Thursday’s 8-4 loss to Detroit but not enough. “His innings still are a little bit longer than I would like to see,” the manager said. “It’s still not where we need him to be.”

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