Ryan won't rush recovery from mid-back strain

Yankees infielder hopes to resume baseball activities within week

Ryan won't rush recovery from mid-back strain

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees utility infielder Brendan Ryan said on Saturday that he's making progress in his recovery from a strained muscle in the middle of his back, and he hopes to resume baseball activities next week.

Ryan said that he sustained the strain while performing 45-pound bicep curls in advance of camp. He mentioned the lingering soreness during his physical exam this week, and a precautionary MRI ordered by Dr. Daniel Murphy on Thursday revealed the strain.

"It's no big deal," Ryan said as the club's spring workout at George M. Steinbrenner Field was canceled because of a driving rain. "I've had a lot more serious issues in my back before. I wasn't too concerned. It being February, let's just make sure."

Ryan is taking treatment, and he's beginning to get antsy. Manager Joe Girardi said on Saturday that Ryan was the only Yankees player right now on the injury list and that he would be shut down at least into next week.

Both know not rush it. Ryan came back too early last year and was sidelined for most of the spring with a bulging disc in his neck, and he didn't return until May 7. It skewed his whole season. The slick-fielding infielder, who will turn 33 on March 26, played in only 49 games, hitting .167 with no home runs as a backup to the now-retired Derek Jeter.

According to Girardi, it still seems like a little while before Ryan will be cleared to take batting practice.

"I don't know what they're going to allow me to do," Ryan said. "If not batting practice, maybe some baseball stuff. I imagine they might baby-step me into it. We always want to jump right back into it. I'd imagine some dry swings or hit off the tee.

"We'll see. I don't want to speak for them. That's how I get in trouble."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.