Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira plans on travelling to Tampa on Monday to rehabilitate his strained left calf during instructional league games at New York's minor league complex.

The two-time All-Star has played just once since Aug. 27, reinjuring the calf on Sept. 8 at Baltimore when he dived into first base on a game-ending play.

"Just by feeling it right now you can tell that it's swollen and tight and sore," Teixeira said Thursday.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has expressed hope Teixeira could return in time for the team's trip to Toronto from Sept. 27-30. He has not resumed on-field workouts but planned to take indoor batting practice Thursday.

"I don't want to put any timetable on it because we tried to do that last time and it kind of put unwanted pressure on everybody," he said. "We all wanted me to be back as soon as possible and I wasn't, I wasn't ready. So I'm just going to take it day by day, and when the doctors tell me that I'm clear, when the trainers tell me that I'm clear, when the strength coach and the baseball people all say you look normal, you're running fine, then I'll be out there playing."

New York began the night with a half-game lead over second-place Baltimore in the AL East. The tight race caused Teixeira to play when his leg still hurt.

"Let's be honest. If we had a 10-game lead, I would not have come back. Everyone knows that. We all knew that," he said. "But when you have an opportunity to help your team, and I thought at maybe not 100 per cent, but still even being able to walk would help the team, I wanted to be out there because we were battling."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the team is being more cautious this time around.

"We've got to make sure that it's healed, because we don't want it to happen again," he said.