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Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Gardner could play in playoffs

By Wallace Matthews

The question is no longer if, but when Brett Gardner will be reactivated to join the Yankees for the remainder of the regular season as a defensive replacement-slash-pinch runner.

But Joe Girardi also raised the possibility that Gardner, who has missed all but nine games with a right elbow injury that eventually required arthroscopic surgery, could be added to the Yankees' postseason roster, provided they get that far.

"I wouldn’t say he’s completely ruled out (for the playoffs)," Girardi said. "I’m sure it’s something that if you’re sitting around a table you could talk about."

The Yankees have already had that talk about Gardner for the final 16 games of the regular season, and it is possible he would have been activated for tonight's game against the Blue Jays if it hadn't been rained out. Girardi said Gardner could help the Yankees in the outfield and on the basepaths, but did rule out any chance that Gardner, who re-injured the elbow several times while swinging in rehab games, would be used as a hitter.

Or, for that matter, a bunter, even though Gardner practiced bunting in the batting cage here over the weekend.

"That’s kind of a tough situation because if people know that he’s not supposed to swing, they can basically play 30 feet away," Girardi said.