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Chamberlain Nearing Game Action, Claims He Is Ready For Hitters

Joba Chamberlain (credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Joba Chamberlain (credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP/WFAN) — Joba Chamberlain could soon pitch in a minor league game for the first time since an injury during spring training.

The New York Yankees reliever said he is scheduled to throw in a simulated game on Friday. Chamberlain threw a pair of 20-pitch segments Monday during his third batting practice session at the team’s minor league complex.

“Especially after today with the way I felt, the way my command was, I 100 percent believe I can get big league hitters out right now,” Chamberlain said. “That’s half the battle, saying you can do it. We’re over that hump. I felt like today was my best day, overall.”

Chamberlain dislocated his right ankle bouncing on a trampoline with his son on March 22 and expects to see game action within two weeks. The right-hander was coming back from elbow ligament-replacement surgery at the time of the ankle injury.

“Everything is good,” Chamberlain said. “The ankle is taken care of. The ankle is fine. My elbow is, obviously, great. I just have to continue to maintain those two good feelings and get back into some games.”

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Chamberlain also took part in defensive drills, with New York manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild watching. The Yankees are in Florida for a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

“Another step,” Chamberlain said.

The Lincoln, Nebraska native pitched 28.2 innings in 2011 and held a 2-0 record with a 2.83 ERA.

Also, left-hander Pedro Feliciano, rehabbing after left shoulder surgery, is scheduled to have his next bullpen outing Tuesday and said he could throw batting practice next week.

Yankees fans, are you ready for the return of Joba? Be heard in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)