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Monday, April 22, 2013
Granderson: Tee for two

By Wallace Matthews

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Curtis Granderson hit off a tee this morning for the first time since suffering a broken right forearm in February and will do the same again tomorrow.

But the Yankees center fielder still cannot provide a timetable for when he will be able to return to action.

“It’s hard to really say," Granderson said before tonight's Yankees-Rays game at Tropicana Field. "It’s going to be somewhere in May, don’t know exactly when. Everything is looking pretty good. The big thing is that whenever I finally start playing, getting at-bats, getting timing and stuff. Once that day comes, we’ll have a little better evaluation."

Granderson suffered a fractured ulna from a J.A. Happ pitch in his first, and only, at-bat of the spring back on Feb. 24. At the time, the Yankees said his recovery would take 8-10 weeks, which placed Granderson's return at approximately May 5.

But now, the way Granderson laid out the progression -- another day of hitting off a tee and swinging at underhand tosses, followed by re-evaluation, followed by batting practice in the cage, followed by batting practice on the field, followed by an unspecified number of rehab games, makes it appear likely his return will be more closer to mid-May. According to Granderson, he will needed between 50 and 70 at-bats in simulated games, extended spring training games and minor-league games before he is ready to return.

"Once we start with the actual back-to-back, nine-inning games and stuff like that, it will get a little interesting," he said. "I’m not sure if they’ll do that in extended or send me on a rehab assignment to get those games that way. Whenever I get those at-bats, then the number of games should hopefully be a little bit easier to finally get done.”

Asked when he thought Granderson, who led the team in home runs with 43 last season, would return, Joe Girardi said, "I still think it’s too early to tell. He just started doing tee and toss. He’s not doing BP yet or anything of that nature. He’ll increase the tee and toss tomorrow, and then probably try to increase it the next day and we’ll see where he’s at."