NEW YORK -- The Yankees feared that they had lost Mark Teixeira for weeks, if not months.
By late Tuesday night, Teixeira was talking about trying to play Wednesday against the Red Sox.
His right knee, hit in the first inning Tuesday by a 90 mph Jon Lester cutter, wasn't broken, as he and others had initially feared. His knee wasn't even wrapped as he stood in the middle of the Yankee clubhouse after a 6-4 loss to the Red Sox that could have been so much worse.
"There's certain guys you can't go without," Alex Rodriguez said. "There's some guys that are irreplaceable."
He was talking about Teixeira, second in the majors with 18 homers (including six in the last 10 games before Tuesday).
The Yankees had reason to fear. The pitch hit Teixeira squarely on his back knee. Worse yet, Teixeira went directly to the ground, screaming out in pain.
"My concern was that he had fractured his kneecap," manager Joe Girardi admitted. Teix has been hit a lot, and I've never seen him show that much pain before. He was in a lot of pain, and that was scary."
Teixeira said he feared the same thing, but that he was lucky that the ball hit between the kneecap and the side of the knee.
"It actually hit me in a lucky place," he said.
And yes, he was talking about playing Wednesday.
"If I'm all right to go, I'm going to go," he said.
Just another crazy night with the Yankees and Red Sox, a night that also included Sox reliever Bobby Jenks leaving with a stiff back, and with Girardi admitting that he wasn't happy that David Ortiz flipped his bat after a fifth-inning home run.
"I didn't really care for it," Girardi said.