NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Will Masahiro Tanaka pitch again this season?
We don’t know yet, but he took a big step toward doing just that on Monday.
The right-hander, on the 15-day disabled list with a partial UCL tear, made 25 throws from 60 feet at Yankee Stadium on Monday. He said he felt good and reported no pain.
It was the first time he’d thrown a ball since going on the DL.
The 25-year-old received a platelet-rich plasma injection three weeks ago.
“We’ll see tomorrow what everyone wants to do with him, but as we said, three weeks is the mark,” manager Joe Girardi said prior to the Yankees’ victory over the Red Sox on Sunday night. “He feels good, so we’ll see what we do.”
Tanaka is hoping to be back with the Bombers by September, but season-ending Tommy John surgery remains a definite possibility. Recovery from Tommy John surgery often takes up to a year.
“It’s not starting all over, because he’s been built up,” Girardi said. “But it’ll be probably 60 feet, and then 60 and 90, and 90 and 120, then flat ground and bullpen and probably a rehab game.”
The Japanese sensation was named an All-Star in his first season in the majors, and was a serious Rookie of the Year and Cy Young candidate prior to injuring himself on July 8 against the Indians.
In 18 starts, Tanaka is 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA. He’s struck out 135 and walked just 19 in 129 1/3 innings pitched.
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