MINNEAPOLIS -- Eduardo Nunez has moved up to Double-A Trenton as part of his Minor League rehabilitation assignment and could rejoin the Yankees at the big league level before the All-Star break.
"I think it's possible we'll get him before the break," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I think it depends on how he feels and how ready he feels he is. Our people will look at him and make a decision [about] when we can get him back."
Nunez has been sidelined with a strained left oblique since May 5. It has not been determined how long Nunez will play in Trenton; the Thunder hosts Double-A Reading in a 7:05 p.m. ET contest on Thursday.
Nunez opened the season as the Yankees' everyday shortstop in Derek Jeter's absence but was limited to 27 games, batting .200 with no homers and four RBIs. Girardi said that injuries have made the season a rough one for both Nunez and catcher Francisco Cervelli.
"That probably adds to their frustration," Girardi said. "It was a chance to play every day, a chance to kind of validate that you're an everyday player, and they've been hurt most of the time."
Jeter senses rehab assignment isn't far
MINNEAPOLIS -- Yankees captain Derek Jeter said on Thursday that he feels close to being cleared to begin a Minor League rehabilitation assignment.
"I'm anxious to be playing in games," Jeter told The Associated Press in Tampa, Fla. "When they tell me to play, I'll play."
Jeter worked out at the Yankees' complex in Tampa on Thursday, one day after he took simulated at-bats and ran the bases. Jeter has been recovering after a second fracture was discovered in his surgically repaired left ankle on April 18.
"Everything felt good," Jeter said.
Like Alex Rodriguez, who played two games with Class A Charleston this week and is expected to join Class A Advanced Tampa on Friday, Jeter will likely require a full 20-day Minor League rehabilitation assignment.
Also on Thursday, outfielder Curtis Granderson tested his recovery from a fractured knuckle on his left hand by taking around 15 swings in an indoor pool with a lightweight pipe, the initial step in the process to resume hitting.
"To know that this is the first step and we've checked that off is good news," Granderson told the AP.
Elbow injury interrupts Cervelli's progress
MINNEAPOLIS -- Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli will be shut down for two weeks and is now not expected to return until August due to a stress reaction in his right elbow.
On Wednesday in New York, Cervelli underwent an MRI exam that revealed the injury. A stress reaction generally indicates that a fracture is possible, and rest is the recommended course of action.
"It's an old stress reaction, they believe, and we had to shut him down two weeks," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "This just happened the other day. It's not what we want, but we're dealing with it."
Cervelli had been catching simulated games and taking batting practice at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla., as he worked to return from a fractured right hand sustained on a foul tip in late April.
He has played in just 17 games this season, batting .269 with three homers and eight RBIs. In Cervelli's absence, the Yankees have utilized a catching tandem of Chris Stewart and rookie Austin Romine.
"They've done a pretty good job," Girardi said. "We talk about the first thing is handling our staff, and I think they've done a pretty good job handling our staff. We'll just keep going with the guys that we have."