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Notes: Pavano has bone bruise

Notes: Pavano has bone bruise

TAMPA, Fla. -- Carl Pavano blocked a line drive with his left foot and was able to walk away with just a bone bruise, as precautionary tests confirmed Monday.

The way Pavano's injury-plagued last 1 1/2 seasons have gone, some would suggest that the 31-year-old right-hander should consider his slight ailment a good sign.

Pavano sees no such irony in the assessment, saying that he's more consumed with the good feelings he's getting on the mound this spring, and returning to that action.

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"It hasn't even crossed my mind," said Pavano, who was hit by a batted ball on Saturday and went for an MRI and X-rays on Sunday. "I feel like this is something that could have happened to anyone.

"I feel like this is the first time I can say that I'm just going to pick up where I left off. In the past, it's been just positive words; I don't know how committed I was to it. I'm definitely committed to the fact that I feel good."

Pavano was pitching to non-roster infielder Alberto Gonzalez on Saturday when the 13th pitch of a batting practice session was smacked back through the box, hitting the instep of Pavano's left foot.

After hobbling for a moment and conferring with bullpen coach Joe Kerrigan, Pavano returned to action and completed a 40-pitch bullpen session. He later complained of tightness, but has taped and iced the bruised foot since Saturday and is reporting continued improvement.

"The foot's not an issue," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He puts a sneaker on and he doesn't even feel it when he's walking around. The baseball shoe is a little more uncomfortable for him."

Pavano is still a possibility to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday, saying that he feels ready, but would defer a final evaluation to the team's medical staff.

Pavano said his main concern would be completing a session Thursday in preparation for his scheduled exhibition start on Sunday at Clearwater against the Phillies.

"If everything keeps progressing the way it has, I think that's a realistic goal," Pavano said. "It could have been worse. It's just a bruise, and bruises heal quick."

Head to head: Kei Igawa and Jeff Karstens will be the opposing starting pitchers in Tuesday's 12:30 p.m. ET intrasquad scrimmage, to be held on the diamond at Legends Field and managed by guest coaches Yogi Berra and Reggie Jackson.

Torre said the game is tentatively slated to be an 8 1/2 inning affair, down from original projections of 10 to 11 innings, but still subject to change.

Igawa will be followed by Steven Jackson, Tyler Clippard, Mike Myers, Chris Britton and Jose Veras. Karstens is scheduled to be relieved by Chase Wright, Jeff Kennard, Colter Bean, Ron Villone and Kevin Whelan.

Starting it off: Chien-Ming Wang will start the Yankees' exhibition opener on Thursday against the Twins in Tampa, with Carlos Silva throwing the first pitch for Minnesota.

Other hurlers to see work against the Twins, Torre announced, will be Phil Hughes, Ross Ohlendorf, Luis Vizcaino and Mike Myers.

And in the hole: Andy Pettitte will pitch on Friday at Tampa Bay, followed by Mike Mussina on Saturday vs. Pittsburgh. Pavano would go Sunday at Philadelphia, with Igawa making his official Spring Training debut on Monday vs. Detroit.

Testing, testing: Yankees right-handers Brian Bruney (left lower back) and Humberto Sanchez (inflamed right elbow) were sent for further examinations on Monday.

Bruney, 25, had complained late last week of a sticking sensation near his ribcage, which was expected to sideline him for "four or five days," according to Torre.

That estimation has been reduced, as Torre said Bruney could return to action on Tuesday. General manager Brian Cashman said that Bruney's MRI proved negative.

In one of the spring's more colorful quotes, Bruney had described the feeling as though he had been "in jail, getting shanked." Asked how he was feeling Monday, Bruney said, "Better. Maybe it's a smaller shank this time."

Sanchez, 23, had a batting practice session pushed back one day with tightness near his pitching elbow, but threw on Sunday and appeared smoother. When he cooled off and returned home, Sanchez said his forearm began to stiffen once again, and the Yankees are prescribing additional rest.

"I'm not going to make a big deal about it," said Sanchez, who admitted some concern and described a throbbing sensation. "We'll see where we're at [Tuesday]."

Quotable: "We're going to flip a coin, but Yogi will win the flip." -- Torre, on how Berra and Jackson will decide their dugouts for Tuesday's scrimmage

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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