NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- After Alex Rodriguez suffered a quad strain that will prolong his time on the DL, the Yankees received some positive news that helps with their third base and hitting troubles.
Rehabbing third baseman Kevin Youkilis told the New York Daily News that a return before the end of the season is possible.
There's "definitely a chance," the 34-year-old said on Monday. "I feel good."
The three-time All-Star had back surgery on June 20 and was scheduled to rehab for 10-12 weeks before returning to the diamond. The Yankees signed Youkilis, prior to the 2013 season, to a one-year deal worth $12 million in hopes that he would fill in for the injured Rodriguez.
Youk only played in 28 games this season for the Bombers, batting .219 with two home runs before having surgery.
The Yankees briefly believed that their offensive woes had finally evaporated with the expected return of Derek Jeter and A-Rod, but both players recently suffered quad strains that will keep them off of the field.
If Youkilis, a career .281 hitter, can return before the season ends, he could be instrumental to a Yankees' playoff push and a postseason run. At the very least, Youk brings a bat into the lineup and a permanent third baseman to the infield, rather than a smorgasbord of players constantly being rotated in and out of the hot corner.
"He was only allowed to start his rehab work two weeks ago," Joe Bick, Youkilis' agent, told the Daily News on Monday. "He came back to New York before the All-Star Game. So far, so good. He is doing everything he can to get out there as soon as possible. It's our anticipation that's going to happen."
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