Gardner hopeful to be back in two weeks

Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner will be spending plenty of time resting as he works to recover from the bruised right elbow and strained right arm muscle that placed him on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday. He said in the clubhouse on Thursday that he feels "alright."

"You hope that it's going to be sooner than later but obviously it's not something I want to keep dealing with all year long," Gardner said. "It takes a lot for me to take myself out of the game and there was no way I could have played last night. The bottom line is I got to rest it and got to get better. Gotta let it heal. Whether it takes five days or two to three weeks, depending on what it takes, gotta let it get right."

Gardner, who was wearing a brace on his right arm, originally suffered his injury on Tuesday when he made a sliding catch on a low line drive in the third inning. The left fielder felt it in his wrist as he said he bent it under him, and his elbow bent in a weird way, but he felt OK for the rest of the game. During Wednesday's batting practice, though, his elbow started bothering him and he struggled to swing at times.

The MRI showed that he had a bone bruise and he had strained the extensor muscle on the outside of his elbow, which is involved in straightening an arm and would effect how he finishes his swing. Gardner, who is batting .321 and has a .424 on-base percentage, described it as a "freak injury." He's going to play it slow and won't pick up a bat for more than a week.

"There's no point in me trying to hit two days from now," Gardner said. "I'd like to be hitting in eight or 10 days, I think that is the perfect scenario. That would put me on track to come off the DL in two weeks. No point trying to hit two to three days from now if I can't hit for two weeks anyway. Main thing, it's a muscle strain, so let it rest, let it heal, and hopefully in a week or a week and a half, I'll be able to hit."

With Gardner out, left field will be manned by Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones. Jones started last night and Ibanez will be out there Thursday night against the Twins. Ibanez, who was signed to be the team's designated hitter, has played left field for many years and is willing to do whatever to help the team out as it tries to configure its outfield.

"Whatever they want me to to do," Ibanez said.