Teixeira feels ‘very good’, could return Monday

Mark Teixeira felt exactly what he wanted to feel when he took swings off a tee Sunday.

“Very good. No pain so that’s a good sign,” Teixeira said of the strained left lat muscle that forced him out of the Yankees’ lineup for the last seven games.

Teixeira took 25 swings from both sides before the 5-4 loss to Toronto at Yankee Stadium. Now, it’s up to the doctors and manager Joe Girardi as to when he plays.

“I feel good, no pain from either side,” Teixeira said after going through more treatment. “It’s definitely getting better.”

But whether it’s good enough for him to play Monday in Texas has not been determined, although Girardi cautioned Teixeira still hasn’t taken live batting practice.

“When you’re working, you can guard against lot of things,” Girardi said. “In the course of a game, sometimes you can’t do that. … We’ll reevaluate where he is [Monday] and how he feels after [Sunday]. Hopefully he’s a player for us pretty soon.”

With the Yankees still looking to upgrade their outfield — as Josh Willingham emerged as another player they are considering — they still hope to get Carlos Beltran back in right field at some point. But it won’t be anytime soon.

“I don’t think it’s too far off,” Girardi said. “He’s thrown from more and more distance and done some outfield drills. I don’t know if it will happen next week, but [the week] after that I think is a possibility.”

Beltran said he’s only throwing from 90 feet and needs to get to 140 and into game-type situations before he is ready.

Chase Headley hit his first homer as a Yankee and made a fine defensive play in the ninth, but he doesn’t consider himself to be on an audition for next year.

“Not from my point of view,” Headley said. “I’m so new to this place and a lot of unknowns can happen. Let’s play these next two months out — hopefully three months — and if I play great and they want me back, that’s an option. But I can’t go out there trying to prove they should keep me. My body of work from my time as a big-league player says a lot more about me than the next few months.”

And he insisted he never considered Alex Rodriguez’s injuries or suspension having an impact on him.

“I never once thought it was gonna affect me personally,” Headley said. “Now that it has, I still don’t know what it means.”

Girardi was mentioned by both Joe Torre and Greg Maddux during their induction speeches at the Hall of Fame Sunday and credited both with helping shape his career.

“One taught me a lot about calling games and was there for me as a young player,” Girardi said of Maddux, whom he played with when he broke into the majors with the Cubs. “And one taught me an awful lot about managing and how to manage people.”


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