Yankees' Greg Bird doesn't offer most convincing ankle diagnosis

Gives outline of rehab schedule

NEW YORK — Yankees first baseman Greg Bird may soon start playing in rehab games, but the way he sounded Saturday, he probably still has a way to go until he’s healthy.

Bird was asked several times, in several ways, how the bruised right ankle that has him on the disabled list felt before the game against the A’s at Yankee Stadium. The 23-year-old has just finished batting practice.

Toward the end of his talk with reporters, Bird said, “The ankle feels good. The ankle feels really good. I used to feel a lot of swelling and stiffness. But as far as mobility and all the swelling, that feels good.”

Before that, he was a bit less committal.

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Asked if the ankle feels “as good as it should feel,” Bird said, “I think it’ll feel better as we go.”

Asked when he stopped feeling pain, he said, “I feel like that last week, that last road trip, I made some strides.’

And asked if he felt anything in the ankle, he turned the attention toward the rest of his body. “No,” Bird said, “I still feel like, coming back from things, you feel muscles that you haven’t used before, if that makes sense. Running and stuff. Like my calf, my hamstring, whatever you want to call it.”

Bird suffered the injury fouling a ball off the ankle at the end of spring training. He said he was healthy at the start of the season, but he hit just .100 through 19 games, often sporting a huge ice pack on the joint after contests.

The Yankees put him on the DL on May 2.

Bird said he’ll likely take at-bats in extended spring training Tuesday and Wednesday. He’s set to play his first rehab game with High-A Tampa on Thursday.

“I feel really good,” he said. “Like I said, we’ve got to keep progressing and keep feeling good. That’s the key.”

Brendan Kuty may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @BrendanKutyNJ. Find NJ.com Yankees on Facebook.
Source: BLOGNJ