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 TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -Yankees left fielder Hideki Matsui has been slowed by neck stiffness and hopes to resume taking batting practice Wednesday.
Matsui hasn't hit since experiencing tightness in his neck while hitting on Sunday.
``It's much better now,'' Matsui said through a translator Tuesday.
Matsui, recovering from right knee surgery in November, could make his spring training debut next week.
``The faster the better with the knee,'' Matsui said. ``Probably another week or 10 days.''
Matsui expects to ready for opening day.
``It's still not a setback,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ``I still expect him to play next week.''
In other news, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera threw 36 pitches in batting practice Tuesday and is scheduled to make his first game appearance Friday. The right-hander has been taking a slower approach in spring training the past few years.
``I feel good,'' Rivera said. ``Everything is good.''
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano didn't travel for Tuesday's game against Toronto at Dunedin due to an appointment with a dentist.
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