SEATTLE -

While the Seattle Mariners and manager Lloyd McClendon don't seem too worried, the lingering hand injury that is keeping second baseman Robinson Cano out of the lineup is a bit concerning to outsiders.

The Mariners' $240 million man was a late scratch Thursday night because of what the team called an illness. He actually took off his jacket and donned a helmet and bat on the top dugout step in the ninth inning but never made it into the on-deck circle. A day later, Cano was out of the lineup again -- this time because of a bruised left hand.

The injury lingered through the weekend, and Cano's "day-to-day" status remains in place.

McClendon said Sunday before the Mariners' 4-0 win over the Detroit Tigers that Cano was close to returning, but the All-Star's status remains unclear as the Mariners head back to New York for a one-game reunion between Cano and the Yankees on Monday.

"He's a tough guy, but we've got to manage 162 games -- not a three-game series or four days," McClendon said. "As a former player, I know how painful bone bruises can be and how nagging they can be, and the right thing to do is to get it quieted down so you can proceed and play again. We're almost there. We'll see how he is (Monday)."

If nothing else, Cano's injury will limit him to his few lowest season game total since 2006. He played in 122 games with the Yankees that season and has played at least 159 games in every season since -- never missing more than three in a campaign during that span.