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CHICAGO - New York Yankees manager Joe Torre said the team's improved play recently should make it easier on Roger Clemens in his season debut Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"I think it will probably help him, although he'll probably be sky high Saturday anyway," Torre said Thursday.

"But the fact that, right now, he can fall in line and be one of the guys, as opposed to being the one guy to maybe change things and turn things around. I don't care how long you've been playing, it's still a lot to put on any one guy."

The 44-year-old right-hander originally planned to start Monday night against the White Sox. He scratched himself from the outing last Saturday because of what the Yankees said then was a "fatigued" groin, an injury he first felt during a minor league outing May 28. An MRI exam Monday showed Clemens had a scar tissue injury in the right groin.

Clemens threw 55 pitches during batting practice at the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday and then worked out there again Thursday.

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