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Mark Teixeira back in Yankees' lineup; CC Sabathia eyes September return to mound

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NEW YORK — Mark Teixeira was back in the New York Yankees' lineup Tuesday night after missing seven games with a bruised right shin.

The All-Star first baseman was set to bat cleanup against Houston Astros ace Dallas Keuchel. Teixeira, injured last week when he fouled a ball off his shin, had a .359 on-base percentage and was leading the team with 31 homers and 79 RBIs.

In other news, injured pitcher CC Sabathia said he thinks he can return to the mound in September. The big left-hander received a second opinion on his arthritic right knee and was glad the exam revealed no new damage.

The struggling Sabathia was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday with inflammation. There is no timetable for his return, and manager Joe Girardi declined to speculate about what Sabathia's role might be if the 2007 AL Cy Young Award winner is able to pitch before the season ends.

PHOTO: New York Yankees trainer Steve Donohue, left, talks to New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia on the mound in the third inning before New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi removed Sabathia from the baseball game against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium in New York, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
New York Yankees trainer Steve Donohue, left, talks to New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia on the mound in the third inning before New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi removed Sabathia from the baseball game against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium in New York, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

"Helping this team any way I can is what I'm here to do. If that means pitching out of the bullpen, it is what it is. I'm not here to make that decision. It's not for me to make," Sabathia said. "If I'm healthy enough, I know I can start on any team. So let them make that decision."

Michael Pineda is set to come off the DL and start Wednesday against Houston. He has been sidelined since July 30 with a strained right forearm.

New York began Tuesday tied with Toronto atop the AL East.

The 35-year-old Sabathia has been slowed by his troublesome knee the past few seasons. He had surgery last year and was limited to eight starts.

This season, he is 4-9 with a 5.27 ERA in 24 starts. He had the knee drained twice and recently received a pain-killing shot, all part of the plan to help him get through the season. Girardi, in fact, was surprised Sabathia wasn't prevented from pitching until he came out of his last start Sunday after 2 2-3 innings.

"It's just learning how to deal with it," the manager said.

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PHOTO: New York Yankees trainer Steve Donohue, left, talks to New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia on the mound in the third inning before New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi removed Sabathia from the baseball game against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium in New York, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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