Teixeira vowing to return this season

Teixeira vowing to return this season

NEW YORK -- Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi both publicly wondered if Mark Teixeira would play again in 2015.

Teixeira hasn't appeared in a game since Aug. 26 due to a bone bruise in his right leg, but the first baseman has consistently vowed that he will return before the season's end. On Thursday, the script was no different.

"In my mind, I'm still 100 percent," Teixeira said prior to Thursday's game being rained out. "I'm coming back in my mind. That's the way I have to go about it."

Teixeira said he has had some injections to help the pain and is still using crutches to help him walk, something he said he can't fully do without pain yet. Running would be the final step in the healing process, but Teixeira's leg isn't ready for that. The healing, he said, has taken much longer than he and the Yanks thought it would.

On Friday, he expects to have some more tests done, possibly an MRI and or CT scan to see how he's progressing.

"If it was just the bone bruise and a little bit of soreness, I'd be out there and it wouldn't be an issue," he said. "But it's a pretty severe bruise, and because of it, it causes swelling and nerve pain up and down my leg. It just makes it impossible. My leg just doesn't really work right now."

Teixeira has been one of the Yanks' most productive hitters at the plate this season, hitting .255 for the season with 79 RBIs and 31 homers. Before he returns, he said he needs to see some sort of live pitching, whether it's in New York or Tampa, Fla.

In Teixeira's place, rookie Greg Bird has taken over first base. Teixeira is hopeful that the Yankees can extend their season as long as possible and make a playoff push in which he can participate.

From a mental standpoint, he indicated the injury has been a taxing one.

"This is not fun at all," he said. "This has been pretty painful in a lot of ways."

Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.