NEW YORK (AP) -Johnny Damon has a mild strain in his right calf and was not in the New York Yankees' lineup Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
The speedy center fielder had an MRI exam earlier in the day, but the Yankees were waiting to try and determine whether it would be best to put him on the 15-day disabled list.
Damon, entering his 13th major league season, has never been on the DL. He was in the trainer's room receiving treatment before the game and issued a statement through a team spokesman.
``I'm feeling better today than I was yesterday. I'm going to get after it with the trainers for the rest of the day and see where we are tomorrow,'' Damon said. ``I still have sexy calves.''
Damon was hurt in Monday's opening victory over Tampa Bay.
``We'll see how it progresses,'' manager Joe Torre said. ``He's obviously going to be our best barometer for this thing.''
Melky Cabrera started in center field for New York and second baseman Robinson Cano was in the leadoff spot. If Damon is out for a while, Torre said Cabrera would be a more logical choice to bat leadoff once he starts swinging the bat better.
Damon's legs are a big part of his game.
``He's been around long enough to know there's certain things he can go on with,'' Torre said. ``If this was September, I'd be a little more concerned that he would try to push it to the end.''
Cabrera will fill in for Damon until he returns. If Damon has to go on the disabled list, the Yankees probably would call up an outfielder from the minors. New York repeatedly has said Bernie Williams is not an option.
Torre reiterated that the team is fortunate to have Cabrera as a replacement. He got plenty of playing time as a rookie last season because of injuries to fellow outfielders Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield. Cabrera batted .280 with seven homers, 50 RBIs and 26 doubles in 460 at-bats. He also scored 75 runs and stole 12 bases while playing excellent defense, especially in left field.
``This kid can play center field with anybody,'' Torre said.

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Rockies vs. Dodgers Prediction Will the red-hot Dodgers pick up another win tonight when they host the Rockies at 10:10PM ET?
Thumbnail Phillies vs. Diamondbacks Prediction With Robbie Ray on the mound, will the Diamondbacks rebound with a victory over the Phillies at 10:10PM ET tonight?
Thumbnail Tigers vs. Padres Pick Will the San Diego Padres keep the losing streak of the Detroit Tigers intact when the two continue their weekend series tonight at...
Thumbnail Astros vs. Mariners Pick Can the Houston Astros avoid another loss to the Seattle Mariners when the two meet up again tonight at...
Thumbnail Pirates vs. Cardinals Prediction Will the Pirates pull off another upset in St. Louis tonight when they visit the Cardinals at 7:15PM ET?

MLB Team Pages