TAMPA, Fla. -- Nick Swisher's sore groin is improving and the Yankees outfielder could return to action this weekend, manager Joe Girardi said.

"He said he feels pretty decent," Girardi said. "I'll talk to [head athletic trainer] Steve Donohue a lot [Friday] and see, do we try to put him in before the weekend is over or do you wait until next week? He said he felt OK."

Swisher felt a tug in his groin running out a ground ball on Tuesday against the Pirates and has received treatment at George M. Steinbrenner Field in each of the last three days.

Jeter expected back in the lineup on Friday

TAMPA, Fla. -- Derek Jeter is expected to return to the Yankees' lineup on Friday after missing time with a sore left calf.

Jeter took part in a full workout on Thursday at George M. Steinbrenner Field that included running on the infield dirt. He had previously only run on the grass, and manager Joe Girardi said he expected Jeter to be prepared to play.

"That's our plan," Girardi said. "We'll see how he goes through [Thursday] and then make a decision. He's going to go through some increased intensity. If we have to wait, we have to wait."

Girardi said that if Jeter's injury had occurred during the season, he likely would have missed a few games, but probably not enough to require a trip to the disabled list.

Unheralded Warren holds own vs. Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Adam Warren isn't battling for a spot in the Yankees' starting rotation this spring, nor is he likely to jump past Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances on anybody's list of top Yankees prospects. But that didn't mean the right-hander had nothing to prove when he threw four scoreless innings against Boston's potential Opening Day lineup in Thursday night's 4-4 tie at JetBlue Park.

Warren, like any other Minor Leaguer given an opportunity with the big league club, was just trying to make an impression, putting his name in the back of management's mind in the event that the club needs a midseason callup or spot start.

"That's what I think Spring Training's about for us guys trying to make it, is making an impression," Warren said. "For me, I'm trying to go out there and show I can handle the situation, just trying to go out and attack the zone. I'm just going to go out there and take care of my own business and not really worry about where I stand and where I stack up against everybody."

Warren stacked up well on Thursday, allowing two hits and no walks while striking out three of the 14 batters he faced. Of his 51 pitches, 42 went for strikes. Warren learned he would make the start on Wednesday afternoon when pitching coach Larry Rothschild called and said right-hander David Phelps' wife was going into labor. That meant Warren would get the nod in the replica Fenway Park against a lineup led off by Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz.

"It was exciting for me, because it was kind of [a chance to] see where I'm at," Warren said. "Obviously, I feel good, now that the game's over. I was excited to face them. ... It was a lot of fun just getting the opportunity to start. It was exciting for me. I went out there with a relaxed approach and just attacked the zone and let our great defense do the work."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi called Warren's outing "excellent," pointing to the way he pitch to both sides of the plate and used his slider. Warren, for his part, said he is still focused on getting ready for the season, and he's soaking up as much knowledge as he can from the club's veterans instead of worrying about how he supposedly stacks up next to top Yankees pitching prospects like Betances and Banuelos.

"I've gotten positive feedback from Larry, kind of talking me through some at-bats and that sort of thing," Warren said. "I feel like he's really helping me develop all my pitches and how to face guys. I feel like that feedback is more than enough for me."

Sabathia hurls six frames vs. Double-A lineup

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia permitted one run in six innings against a lineup of Double-A hitters on Thursday and remains on track for Opening Day.

Sabathia scattered four hits -- three singles and a triple -- against the squad of Yankees Minor Leaguers on Field 2 of the George M. Steinbrenner Field complex. He threw 50 of 65 pitches for strikes, walking one and striking out four.

Sabathia had originally been scheduled to pitch against a lineup of Phillies Minor Leaguers at the Yankees' Himes Avenue complex, but the game was moved after heavy rains in the area on Wednesday evening.

Sabathia is scheduled to make his fourth Yankees Opening Day start on April 6 against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Bombers bits

• Yankees general manager Brian Cashman spoke in support of right-hander Phil Hughes on Thursday evening at JetBlue Park, reiterating his belief that Hughes' struggles last season were mostly a product of his ailing right shoulder.

"If Phil Hughes is healthy, I know the type of pitcher he is -- he's still one of the best young guns, for me, in the game," Cashman said. "He won 18 games and played in the All-Star Game the year before last.

"What happened last year? He was hurt. If he's healthy, why forget about that? I thought coming into Spring Training, he was getting the short end of the coverage stick. ... As long as he's healthy, talk about the guy the two years prior to last year. The two years before that, he was tremendous."

• Raul Ibanez's spring-long struggles at the plate continued on Thursday night, as he went 0-for-3 to drop his Grapefruit League average to .054 (2-for-37).

• Right-hander Freddy Garcia threw a bullpen session on Thursday, his final hurdle before starting on Saturday against the Tigers in Lakeland, Fla. The veteran has been out with a bruised right hand suffered on a comebacker on March 14 against the Blue Jays.

• David Robertson is scheduled to pitch live batting practice on Friday, Girardi said. Robertson could appear in Grapefruit League games shortly after; he has not pitched since bruising his right foot after missing a step on March 7.

• A pair of bright Yankees prospects will be in action for Friday's split-squad games. Outfielder Dante Bichette, Jr., the team's first pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, will join the club in Clearwater, Fla., against the Phillies. Outfielder Mason Williams could make his second spring appearance against the Twins at Steinbrenner Field.