4/20/2008 04:53:00 PM

Posada Will (Hopefully) Catch Next Week

Posted by Mark McCray |

Pete Kerzel / Special to MLB.com:

While Jorge Posada wasn't in the Yankees' lineup at his customary position behind the plate on Sunday, manager Joe Girardi said he expects Posada to resume catching at some point this week, perhaps as early as the club's three-game series that begins at U.S. Cellular Park in Chicago on Tuesday night.

"I'd be surprised if he doesn't catch next week," Girardi said of Posada, who has been hampered by a right shoulder strain that inhibits his ability to throw.

Posada has spent time in the past week building up his arm strength by long-tossing, but he only lobbed on Friday and didn't throw on Saturday, playing first base instead. With pregame work at Camden Yards on Sunday limited by rain, Girardi said that Posada would test his arm next on Tuesday.

"He won't throw today," Girardi said on Sunday. "We'll check again on Tuesday -- see how he is and see if the arm is back to full strength."

Girardi is starting to see enough progress to warrant a return to the lineup. Posada has pressed the manager in recent days to play defensively, but Girardi has not been convinced that his catcher is fully recovered.

"I've seen the progress in his arm," Girardi said. "I'm not smart enough to know that he'll be back at full strength next week, but just from the progress I've seen, it's encouraging."

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