NEW YORK (AP) – Johnny Damon was back in the New York Yankees’ lineup Saturday after missing a start because his eyes had been bothering him.

The Yankees also got good news about reliever Brian Bruney, who tossed a perfect inning in a rehab appearance for Double-A Trenton. The right-hander, who has pitched only once for New York since April 21 because of a strained elbow, is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.

Left-hander Damaso Marte, however, plans to be examined by Dr. James Andrews on Monday in Alabama after feeling more discomfort in his pitching shoulder. The reliever, signed to a $12 million, three-year contract in the offseason, has been out since April 26 with shoulder inflammation.

Damon dropped a routine fly to left field Thursday night in Boston and was held out of Friday night’s starting lineup against the New York Mets because he told the team his eyes had been “fluttering,” according to Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

Damon struck out as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning of the Yankees’ 9-8 comeback victory.

He was back in the lineup Saturday, playing left field and batting second. Damon said a doctor told him caffeine could be the cause of his eye trouble and suggested he stay away from coffee and energy drinks for a while to see if that helps.

“The days I wake up and do drink some coffee are definitely the days I do feel more jittery,” Damon said. “Hopefully, that’s it. Because that’s also something that leads to high blood pressure and all that stuff, which – mine has been up.”

The 35-year-old Damon said he often has about three energy drinks or cups of coffee in a typical 8-hour period at the ballpark.

“With the way the game is, being an older player, I definitely need a few more energy drinks than the young kids. So it could be a possibility. But we’ll see,” he said. “In a couple of days we’ll probably know more.”

If cutting out caffeine doesn’t help, Damon probably will see an eye doctor or try something else. While speaking with reporters before the game, he playfully stumbled around at his locker and fumbled with some gear.

“The eyes are definitely a little sore, maybe from blinking a lot the past couple days,” he said. “I can’t tell you exactly what the problem is.”

Damon caught a hard-hit line drive to end the top of the first inning, then struck out looking in his first trip to the plate. Before the game, he said he wasn’t worried about stepping into the batters’ box without his eyes at 100 percent.

“I’ve been doing it for a couple weeks. I feel confident in my abilities,” he said. “So if I don’t get a hit or anything, it’s my fault – or the pitcher’s done his job. I feel capable of playing. When I step into the box, I feel like I can give something.”

Damon said he doesn’t think his recent eye issues have anything to do with the concussion he sustained during the 2003 playoffs with Boston.

“I think everything’s fine. It seems like all that post-concussion stuff stopped about two years ago,” he said. “It’s just the eyes. The eyes are a little sore. Probably tired from working overtime. I think I’ll be fine.”

Bruney threw eight of 12 pitches for strikes with Trenton. If he can return and stay healthy it could be a huge boost for New York’s shaky bullpen, particularly in the eighth inning.

Serving as Mariano Rivera’s primary setup man, Bruney is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 10 appearances this season. He has 13 strikeouts and two walks in nine innings.

In other news, pitcher Joba Chamberlain and catcher Jorge Posada chatted to try to resolve why they had such a hard time getting on the same page with signs and pitch selection Friday night.

“Just one of those days. It’s not like I’m mad at him or he’s mad at me,” Chamberlain said. “It’s not like we’re going to fight today or anything. … Next time when it happens it’ll be easier because we went through it already.”

Posada said he was trying to get the 23-year-old right-hander to speed up his tempo.

“I just think yesterday when we got into a certain part of the game, we weren’t in sync,” the catcher said. “He’s got the ball. He’s got to make the pitch. I’m just making suggestions.”

But Posada said their relationship is nothing like the testy one he had with ex-Yankees pitcher Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez.

“When I start thinking is when I get in trouble,” Chamberlain said. “It’s on me, too, because they didn’t prove they could hit a fastball all day.”

I’ve got to be more aggressive with my fastball, period.”

AP-ES-06-13-09 1814EDT

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