NEW YORK -- David Robertson expects to return to active duty in the Yankees' bullpen within eight or nine days, but the right-hander will be coming back for the eighth inning.
Robertson's brief stint as the Yankees' closer appears to have ended, as manager Joe Girardi plans to stick with former American League saves leader Rafael Soriano -- who entered Tuesday's game a perfect 6-for-6 in save opportunities this season -- as his closer.
"He's good! What do you want me to say about it?" Robertson said, flashing a broad grin. "He's got a lot of saves under his belt. He knows how to pitch. I didn't ever think about it as me being the closer. I still thought it was going to be the same thing; whenever the opportunity arises, you go for it."
Girardi said that Robertson, who wobbled in two early-May save opportunities after Mariano Rivera's season-ending right knee injury, can expect to see duty as Soriano's setup man.
"We're probably going to put Robbie in some situations in the eighth inning when he comes back, and then we'll just go from there," Girardi said. "Soriano has done a very good job -- whatever we've asked him to do. We feel that they're interchangeable.
"Sori has the experience down there. Let's just get Robby back and see how he's throwing the baseball, but I expect that we'll try to insert him into the eighth inning to start out."
Robertson threw 35 pitches in the bullpen on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium and said he no longer feels discomfort in his left oblique. The right-hander said his next step will be to pitch batting practice, which he could do at the Stadium this week, and he expects that he will be sent for a Minor League rehabilitation assignment.
"I'm sure they'll want me to get in a couple [of games], or at least one, for sure, so we'll just wait and see how that goes," Robertson said.