NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Joba Chamberlain’s return to the hill had all the ingredients to be one of the great comeback stories in Major League Baseball this season.

Though the season still has a ways to go, it hasn’t been a storybook return for the Yankees reliever following Tommy John surgery and a right ankle dislocation.

And now the Nebraska native might have to take a step backwards.

CC Sabathia is due to return from the disabled list on Friday, meaning that New York will have to make a corresponding roster move. And signs are pointing to an upcoming demotion for Chamberlain, a source told the New York Daily News.

Once thought of as a prodigy and the successor to Mariano Rivera, the fireballer has been scarred by injuries and mired in mediocrity over the past two seasons. He put up a respectable 2.83 ERA in 2011, but managed to make just 27 appearances.

Since making an unlikely return on August 1 — in which he surrendered a home run to J.J. Hardy, the first batter he faced — the 26-year-old has been brutally ineffective for the Bombers, allowing seven earned runs on 15 hits in just 6 2/3 innings.

If Chamberlain is in fact sent down to make room for Sabathia, it is likely that he would return to the Bronx when the big league roster expands in September.

Is it time for the Yanks to send Joba down? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…

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