Giambi focused on playing again this season


TAMPA, Fla. – Fresh off his talk with baseball’s steroids investigator, New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi is focusing on playing again this season.

Giambi has been sidelined since May 30 after tearing tissue in his left foot. The former AL MVP didn’t rule out returning in a few weeks and spoke with Roger Clemens and teammates during the Yankees’ series at Tampa Bay over the weekend.

“I came in and saw the guys,” Giambi said. “They know the type of person I am, so I really wasn’t really worried about it. They were great. I saw Rocket here yesterday. They were like ‘Hurry up and get back. We need you.”‘

Giambi was interviewed by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and his staff about steroids last Friday in New York. The Yankees star declined to talk about the meeting.

“I cannot. I’ve been asked not to comment about it. Sorry about that,” Giambi said Monday.

“My biggest thing is, I was more concerned about getting back going and hopefully get a chance to come down here and start rehabbing and get back to playing baseball. Not worrying about anything else,” he said.

Giambi previously admitted he had a “personal history regarding steroids.” He agreed to the session after baseball commissioner Bud Selig threatened to discipline him if he didn’t speak to Mitchell. Last month, Giambi said he wouldn’t implicate other players.

Giambi was given permission by the Yankees’ medical staff late last week to resume working out at the spring training complex in Tampa.

Clemens worked out at the complex before joining the team at Tropicana Field for Sunday’s series finale with the Devil Rays.

“I’m excited to be doing something – getting that opportunity to come out here, get working, and finally do something instead of sitting around,” Giambi said.

“The biggest thing is try not to go fast, but I want to go fast enough where I can hopefully come back and make a difference. I’m at that point where I need to do more to find out what I could do and what I couldn’t do. I’m going to push more and more each day, but I also don’t want to get to the point where I put myself back at square one either,” he said.

AP-ES-07-16-07 1735EDT