NEW YORK (AP) -Yankees center fielder Johnny Damon was out of Saturday's lineup against the Los Angeles Angels because of recurring leg problems, but for now will avoid his first career trip to the disabled list.
Damon left Friday night's 10-6 loss for a pinch-hitter because of cramps in both calves and a sore Achilles' tendon in his right leg. He's missed several games this season, and been forced to leave others, because of the lingering ailments.
There was no indication of when Damon might start again. He talked to team officials Saturday, and it was decided to keep him off the 15-day disabled list.
``I think we all thought it wouldn't be 15 days,'' Damon said. ``It's probably not even five.''
In the meantime, Damon will get massage and whirlpool treatment. He'll also keeps his legs elevated in the clubhouse during games.
``I need to be right. When I'm not, it makes it tougher for the team,'' he said.
The 33-year-old Damon is batting .269 with two homers and 16 RBIs. He played in 40 of the Yankees' first 46 games - he has played at least 145 games in each of his last 11 seasons, the longest current streak in the majors.
In Friday's loss, Damon said he had trouble catching up to a couple of long fly balls and also lacked a quick first step to get to liners in front of him.
``Johnny's not as young as he used to be, but he's not old,'' manager Joe Torre said.
Minus Damon, Melky Cabrera started in center field against the Angels and Bobby Abreu moved into the leadoff spot. Abreu has been in a season-long slump, and the former All-Star was batting just .236 with two homers and 22 RBIs going into Saturday's game.
``We need to get him going,'' Torre said.
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