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Beltran may return to Yanks' lineup today

NEW YORK -- Carlos Beltran has experienced no further issues with his right elbow and could rejoin the Yankees' lineup as a designated hitter today against the A's, manager Joe Girardi said.

Beltran played his third extended spring training game at the club's Tampa, Fla., complex on Wednesday morning and traveled to New York, according to Girardi, who is hopeful that Beltran will be ready to be activated from the disabled list.

"He could possibly be in the lineup tomorrow," Girardi said Wednesday. "We'll make a decision tomorrow, see how he feels, and he could be in the lineup tomorrow."

Beltran has not played in a Major League game since May 12, when he took himself out of the lineup for a Subway Series game against the Mets because of sharp pain in his right elbow.

The injury was diagnosed as a bone spur, and two cortisone injections helped to alleviate the discomfort; enough that Beltran believes he can avoid surgery, which would have cost him eight to 12 weeks of the season.

Girardi said that he will only use Beltran as a designated hitter for now, hoping to limit the chances of a flare-up with the elbow.

"I think it'll be DH exclusively until a little bit later on," Girardi said. "We'll just take this step by step. Our first goal was to get him back as a hitter."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.
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