- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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Nick Swisher will once again be the designated hitter Monday night, as the Yankees try to give the right fielder as much time as possible to heal before returning to the field. Swisher last played in the outfield on July 20, and was in the starting lineup for the first time on Sunday, also as the DH, since suffering his strained left hip flexor.
"Just from some of the discussions I've had with him tells me to continue to DH him and I might DH him every day in the next three days. I'm not sure," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I'll continue to discuss it with him and see how he feels."
Swisher missed six straight games with the injury before pinch-hitting Saturday against Boston. He went 2-for-4 Sunday with a pair of singles. Both he and Girardi had talked about the possibility of Swisher being back in right field on Monday, but caution was taken instead. Swisher said he feels fine and doesn't believe he's had any kind of setback.
"Right now, with the way everything's going, we can afford to do this. Why wouldn't we, I guess?" Swisher said. "As soon as we get back on the field playing we don't want to leave the rest of the time. If we can soak up a couple of DH (days) like yesterday and today, then maybe tomorrow go out in the field depending on how everything feels and go from there."
SETBACK? Girardi disagreed with the notion that starter Andy Pettitte suffered a setback as he rehabs his fractured left fibula. The lefty stopped his throwing program to relieve swelling, and said his doctor had hoped his leg would have healed a little bit better by now.
"We've said all along this is a 60-day injury. At least. You can think about it. If you don't pick up a baseball and throw off a mound for at least six weeks, 60 days is pretty tough to get back by because you're talking 42 days where you have to build a guy back up," Girardi said. "As far as a setback, I wouldn't call it a setback. I think it's part of the healing process."
Pettitte could return on Aug. 28 at the earliest, but Girardi doesn't expect to see the lefty that early. Pettitte was 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA in nine starts this season.
"I think he's going to be back in September. I think 60 days was kind of pushing it, I do. And that's why we put him on [the 60-day DL]," Girardi said. "If we thought he was going to be ready in 50 days for sure, we wouldn't have put him on the 60-day DL."
RUSSELL OUT: Despite being the sole source of the Yankees' offense Sunday night, catcher Russell Martin is sitting Monday, as the Yankees are pairing starter Freddy Garcia with Chris Stewart behind the plate. Stewart has caught all five of Garcia's starts since he has returned to the rotation, and the veteran is 2-2 with a 3.90 ERA spanning those outings.