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NEW YORK (AP) — Mark Teixeira will miss the rest of the season after tests revealed the New York Yankees first baseman has a broken right leg.
Teixeira fouled a ball off his shin Aug. 17 and has started only once since. He had trouble running in that game and was not improving much, so the Yankees sent him for a third round of tests Friday that finally showed a fracture.
"Actually, not surprised," Teixeira said. "It's been really painful. I know the difference between pain and soreness. It's been painful since day one. We were just kind of trying to figure out why it wasn't healing and today we figured it out."
Though not entirely unexpected, it's certainly a blow to the Yankees at an important time in their push for the playoffs. New York was 1 1/2 games behind first-place Toronto in the AL East going into their four-game series Friday night. The Yankees have a comfortable lead in the wild card race.
"You can't really put into words how disappointed I am," said Teixeira, who will remain on crutches for the next month. "I feel like this team has a chance to win a World Series. I really do. And not to be able to be on the field during that run is really tough to take."
The original diagnosis was a deep bone bruise. Teixeira was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sept. 4, retroactive to Aug. 27, but he and the team had been holding out some hope he might be able to return this season.
"Really just kind of wishful thinking," Teixeira said. "I was trying to play every single day. That's the way that you have to go after it as an athlete. Until you know that it's broken, you're going to try to play every day."
Rookie first baseman Greg Bird will keep filling in for Teixeira. Bird was batting .241 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 83 at-bats.
"The word for Bird is professionalism. He just seems like such a pro," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "There's just no emotion. He's just cool, calm and collected. And that's pretty impressive. You're born that way, I think. You just don't see it in 22-year-olds. That will serve him well in a market like this."
When he got hurt, the 35-year-old Teixeira was enjoying a resurgent season that had put him in the AL MVP discussion. Heading into Friday night's game, he was still leading the Yankees with 31 home runs and ranked second on the team in RBIs (78). He had a .357 on-base percentage and scored 57 runs.
"It's really disappointing news. I feel bad for Mark. One of the reasons we're where we're at is because of everything that clearly Mark did this year for us," Cashman said. "He had been a superb player batting in the middle of that lineup."
Cashman said Teixeira is three weeks into a recovery process that will take at least three months, but the switch-hitting slugger should be ready for the start of next season.
"Once it's healed the doctors are 100 percent confident that there will be no ill effects," Teixeira said.
In other news, the Yankees recalled right-hander Chris Martin from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
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