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Yankees hint at Greg Bird, Starlin Castro returning to action on Friday

Yankees manager Joe Girardi reportedly hinted that first baseman Greg Bird (foot) and second baseman Starlin Castro (hamstring) could come off the disabled list on Friday, and return to action against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium.

“Anything’s possible,” Girardi told reporters prior to New York’s game against the Detroit Tigers. “You could very well see someone tomorrow.”

Bird, who hasn’t played since May 1 due to a lingering ankle injury, is expected to play nine full innings at first base with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday. The 24-year-old’s latest minor league rehab stint has been successful, as he’s hit 8-for-21 (.381) with two doubles, two home runs and 5 RBI in seven games with the RailRiders. 

If Bird’s return is imminent, playing time will need to be suitably balanced between him and Chase Headley, who’s played exceptionally well at first base since late July. Girardi will re-evaluate Bird’s status Thursday night, according to the New York Post, and will likely make his decision then.

“You figure things out when they happen,” Girardi told the Post. “That’s my job. Obviously, if everyone stays healthy — and if you’re producing — you’re gonna play. We’re gonna find ways for you to play.”

As for Castro, who’s rehabbing his second hamstring injury of the season, the Yankees believe he’s knocking on the door, too.

“We’re happy with the way he’s progressing,” Girardi told the Post of Castro, who’s hit 6-for-20 (.300) in five Triple-A games. “We’ve got to make sure he’s running fine and that there’s no pain and no restrictions.”

Another injured Yankee is veteran designated hitter Matt Holliday, who may not return to the Bronx until rosters expand next Friday, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Holliday’s season has been a roller coaster ride. Before landing on the disabled list with a strange illness in late June, the 37-year-old was exceptional at the plate. But when he returned to action after the All-Star break, Holliday failed to pick up steam, and quickly fell into a slump. Currently, Holliday’s rehabbing a back issue with Class-A Tampa. 

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.

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