Gardner says he’s 100 percent and ready to return

There are only 10 games left in the season, but it seems possible that Brett Gardner might actually play again. He began a hitting program a week ago and things must be progressingly along because he is set to take live batting practice on Monday for the first time since his elbow surgery, according to Jeff Bradley of the Newark Star-Ledger.

“I feel great,” Gardner told Bradley. “I have hit in the cages this week. Soft toss. And once I hit live on the field, I think I’ll be able to show that I’m 100 percent and ready to play. My body feels like it’s March. I’m excited to get back on the field and help any way I can.”

There has been talk about Gardner possibly returning as a strictly pinch runner/defensive replacement, but if they are just looking for someone to run and play in the outfield Melky Mesa can do that, despite the eventfulness of his major league debut. The Yankees have a full 40-man roster and don’t need to risk losing one of their players at this point to have a less than capable Gardner.

However, it certainly sounds like he thinks he’s ready to come back and hit.

“I think I’m ready,” Gardner said. “I’ll try to show that and let them decide.”

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