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Granderson prepared to take over center field duties

BOSTON -- Curtis Granderson knew it was not good news when he was told to grab his glove and head to center field, replacing Brett Gardner for the bottom of the first inning on Thursday.

Now that an MRI has confirmed that Gardner has a Grade 1 strain of his left oblique and may miss the remainder of the regular season, Granderson said that he is prepared to fill in as the Yankees' everyday center fielder, as well as in the leadoff spot if needed.

"Anytime you lose anybody, it's always a tough loss, no matter who it happens to be in this organization," Granderson said. "You don't want to see anybody get hurt. Gardy has been playing well for us all season long, and he's done some amazing things both offensively and defensively.

"To have him go down, the way he is and to not be sure exactly when he might come back, that's definitely a tough thing to handle. At the same time, we've got to continue to move on."

Granderson has been limited to just 46 games himself entering play on Friday, suffering a fractured right wrist in his first Spring Training game and then breaking his left hand in May, both on hit-by-pitches.

Granderson has bounced around the lineup, hitting in all of the first seven slots, and he has also played all three outfield positions. Granderson said that moving around to a variety of roles has not bothered him, because he is just happy to be playing.

"It's fun. This is great," Granderson said. "We're in the thick of things, ready to move forward and have a chance to get to the playoffs. It has been fun, it's been unscripted to a tee. Anything that you could think of happening has happened, and I'm sure there's a lot more that will happen that is unpredictable. That makes it fun."

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