Gardner's return to be delayed a few days

Gardner's return to be delayed a few days

Gardner's return to be delayed a few days
NEW YORK -- Joe Girardi said left fielder Brett Gardner's return has been pushed back at least a couple days, which will keep the Yankees' outfield shuffle going at least until then.

With Gardner -- nursing a sore right elbow -- and right fielder Nick Swisher (left hamstring) missing time, the team has relied upon Eduardo Nunez, Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones to fill the vacancies.

Nunez, who started in left field on Monday and Tuesday, made a costly error on Tuesday night, but Girardi said he's been impressed with the young utility player's progress at an unfamiliar position.

"They've done a decent job," Girardi said. "Any left fielder that we put out there is not gonna be a Gardner. And Swish plays a good right field, as well. That's the bottom line. We've tried to make do with what we have."

Ibanez was brought to New York this offseason primarily to be an outfielder, but he's gotten more than his share of outfield innings.

"I'm not surprised at his production," Girardi said. "I think it's what we expected from him. And it's nice that we can put him in the outfield."

Gardner made the trip to Kansas City for this weekend's series, with his return date to be determined. He said he hopes to hit on Thursday, but it likely won't be until Friday.

"It's just a bone bruise and it's one of those things ... if you don't stay off of it and you aren't smart about it, it's something that'll last a long time," Gardner said Wednesday. "The doctor said he wants me to feel like I'm 100 percent before I go out on the field to air it out, and I didn't feel like I was quite at 100 percent yesterday, so we decided to take a day or two off."

The outfielder described it as "discomfort" in his elbow and said he's just "a little bit worried about it." He has not been taking batting practice outside this week.