Gardner and Chavez close to return

Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner played in his second rehab game on Wednesday and Eric Chavez is awaiting test results as both players could be back on the field by this weekend.

Gardner, who hurt his elbow making a diving catch on April 17, went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and played left field again. There was no news immediately available after the game, but a day off and then a Friday return seems likely as there was no report of a setback.

As for Chavez, he has been out since he suffered a concussion on May 2, and took some tests on Wednesday. If those results come back clear he could play in a game this weekend. He is already participating in baseball activities, which is a good sign.

“The cobwebs are gone,” Chavez told Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com. “I feel 100 percent.”

The Yankees could obviously use Chavez back, but they really need Gardner back. After a terrible week last week, the offense is still struggling without him this week. He’s obviously not the cure all, but he helps and his defense out in left saves them a lot of runs that make a big difference when the offense isn’t coming through.

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