OAKLAND -- Alex Rodriguez took what he called "a huge leap" Thursday as he recovers from a strained right hamstring, running the bases at the Oakland Coliseum, but the Yankees designated hitter still does not feel ready to commit to a return date.
Rodriguez has been on the 15-day disabled list since sustaining the strain May 3 at Baltimore. Thursday was the first day that Rodriguez could have been activated, and the Yankees are looking at Saturday as the earliest that he could be in the lineup.
"I just want to keep going every day and get to the point where I feel like I can let it go and not think of it," Rodriguez said. "It's a progression. Today was a huge step because we ran the bases. I did home to first four times and I did first to third four times. That's a huge leap."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Rodriguez also ran arcs along the top of the infield.
"We'll see how he feels [Friday]," Girardi said. "Saturday is probably still a question mark, if he'll be ready by Saturday."
Rodriguez said that he has sensed improvement each time he has run, having worked out twice in the outfield at Chase Field this week, and that he has not felt discomfort in some time.
"Every day I think I've gotten five, 10 percent better," Rodriguez said. "I'm very encouraged by the last two days."
Though Rob Refsnyder is the likeliest candidate to be sent back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre when Rodriguez is activated, the Yankees had the 25-year-old working on infield shifts at both second base and third base Thursday.
"Just to get used to maybe being in there with Toe [Ronald Torreyes] one day, those sort of things," Girardi said.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.