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Soriano is 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA in 15 appearances, and has been booed several times by the fans at Yankee Stadium. ((Kathy Willens/Associated Press))

Yankees setup man Rafael Soriano is unlikely to need a trip to the disabled list after an MRI on Wednesday revealed only mild inflammation in his right elbow.

Manager Joe Girardi said the right-hander won't pitch Wednesday night against the Kansas City Royals. Soriano is scheduled to play catch Thursday and might be available when New York hosts the Boston Red Sox in a three-game series starting Friday night.

"The MRI came back really pretty good," Girardi said. "He'll need a couple of days."

Soriano, who signed a three-year, $35 million US deal in the off-season, has struggled thus far with his new eighth-inning role. The former Tampa Bay Rays closer is 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA in 15 appearances, and has been booed several times by the fans at Yankee Stadium.

This is the second nagging injury already for Soriano. He was unable to pitch in a game against Baltimore last month after complaining of pain in his back.

The news of Soriano's elbow injury came out after Girardi used Joba Chamberlain in the eighth inning to protect a two-run lead against the Royals on Tuesday night. Mariano Rivera worked the ninth inning to preserve the Yankees' 3-1 victory in the series opener.

Girardi said he isn't concerned that Soriano may have a recurrence of the elbow trouble that has plagued him in the past. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2004, then was on the DL three times during the 2008 season with Atlanta before more elbow surgery that August.