NEW YORK -- Yankees right-hander David Robertson is scheduled to throw batting practice on Thursday at Yankee Stadium and could pitch in a Minor League rehabilitation game on Sunday.

Robertson has been on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 14, with a left oblique strain that he said is no longer an issue.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he does not believe that Robertson would need to pitch in back-to-back Minor League games before being activated.

Additionally, Girardi said he expects outfielder Brett Gardner -- on the DL with a right elbow injury -- to play in a Minor League game for Class A Advanced Tampa on Thursday.

Gardner felt some stiffness on Wednesday after taking five at-bats in an extended spring game, but Girardi said he was "not surprised" by that. The Yankees have not ruled out that Gardner could be activated for Sunday's game against the Mets.

Mo's blood clot resolved; surgery date set

NEW YORK -- Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has been scheduled to have surgery on his torn right anterior cruciate ligament next Tuesday and expects to be ready to pitch during the 2013 season.

Rivera, 42, said that the procedure was scheduled after he learned that the blood clot discovered in his right calf after the May 3 injury was no longer an issue.

"I'll do what I have to do," Rivera said. "It's something I have to work at."

Dr. David Altchek, the Mets' medical director, will perform Rivera's procedure at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Rivera has been working out since his injury, strengthening the knee to prepare it for surgery.

"Actually, I've been so busy with therapy that I don't even think about it," Rivera said. "When I come home, I'm tired, and then watching the games -- it's a full day."

Rivera vowed one day after the injury that he would return to a big league mound next season. Though he said that he does not want to consider any timetables for a complete recovery, Rivera confirmed that his intent to pitch again has not wavered.

"There's no doubt about that, God willing," Rivera said. "I always believe in miracles, a lot of good things. We've got to get it fixed first."

Rivera stamped out speculation about pitching again in 2012, saying, "I can't. I don't want to think about it. I guess miracles happen, but I just have to be able to do what I will do."

In Rivera's absence, the Yankees briefly promoted David Robertson to the closer's role before also losing him to injury. Rafael Soriano entered Wednesday's game a perfect 8-for-8 in save opportunities and appears to have secured the job, even as Robertson is expected to return from the disabled list in about a week.

Bombers bits

• Russell Martin went 3-for-4 with a grand slam in Tuesday's 7-0 win over the Rays. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the first No. 9 batter to record at least three hits and a grand slam for the Yankees since pitcher Spud Chandler on July 2, 1940, at Comiskey Park.

"Really, the last day we had in Detroit [on Sunday], I felt better and backed off the plate a little bit," Martin said. "I felt like I was seeing the ball better and really staying in there. That's the key; I'm just trying to stay in there and stay short to the ball."


 • Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher has committed to supporting the Wounded Warrior Project to build awareness toward its mission of honoring and empowering Wounded Warriors, with an announcement made at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.

• On this date in 1934, Yankees left fielder Myril Hoag went 6-for-6 in a 15-3 win in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Fenway Park. He is one of two Yankees to go 6-for-6 in a single game, later joined by Johnny Damon in 2008.