DENVER -- Injured first baseman Mark Teixeira believes he can return to the New York Yankees' lineup in a little more than a week, because his knee is healing so well.
A surprised Teixeira said that shots, which included cortisone, have made the articular cartilage tear in his right knee feel stronger and looser. Teixeira plans on playing in minor league rehab games at Double-A Trenton on Tuesday and Wednesday before returning to the Yankees' lineup on June 24 at home against the Minnesota Twins.
"I feel so much better," said the 36-year-old Teixeira, who went on the disabled list two weeks ago.
Teixeira has struggled at the plate all season. He is hitting just .179 with three homers and is currently mired in a career-worst drought of 141 at-bats without a home run.
Still, the Yankees want him to return as soon as possible, because the team's backup plans have all gotten hurt. Greg Bird and Dustin Ackley are out for the year with shoulder surgeries, while Chris Parmalee is on the DL with a hamstring injury.
Former New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis, signed earlier this week, is starting Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies. Davis and utility man Rob Refsnyder are sharing first until Teixeira returns.
The Yankees have Nick Swisher at Triple-A but have chosen not call him up. Swisher has been inconsistent at the plate for Scranton-Wilkes Barre.
Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira targets June 24 return from DL
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