Brett Gardner has setback with elbow

NEW YORK -- Brett Gardner has suffered another setback to his injured right elbow, and New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi predicted the left fielder will not play until after next month's All-Star break at the earliest.

Gardner, who only has played in nine of the Yankees' 57 games this season, felt pain in the elbow after going out on a minor league rehab assignment with Single-A Charleston on Saturday. It was Gardner's second unsuccessful rehab stint.

Gardner has been out since April 19, when he originally hurt the elbow diving for a ball in the outfield.

"I'm not sure when we will see him again," Girardi said Saturday.

Girardi has predominately used Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones in place of Gardner in left field. But at this point in their careers, neither is nearly as good defensively as Gardner.

"I don't want to overexpose the old guys," general manager Brian Cashman said.

Also, the Yankees have little speed without Gardner. Alex Rodriguez and Eduardo Nunez lead the team in steals with six. Nunez is now at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre.

Cashman said he has had no trade talks about acquiring a left fielder, but he seemed opened to looking into it, depending on Gardner's new prognosis.

Gardner will go see elbow specialists Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Tim Kremchek early next week.

"I said that if he has another [setback], it will be after the All-Star break," Girardi said of Gardner's expected return. "There is concern that we won't have him for a while."

The Yankees can't figure out why Gardner continues to get derailed. They thought he had rested the elbow enough that it would be healthy at this point.

"He seems to get to a point where he can do everything he needs to do," Girardi said. "Then when he plays in the game, maybe it is the intensity being turned up a little bit, some swinging and missing, it seems to bother him."

Gardner, 27, has hit .321 with a .424 on-base percentage in nine games this year.

"He's frustrated," Cashman said. "We're frustrated."