Tanaka And Nova Inch Closer To Return, Toss Successful Rehab Sessions On Monday

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Another year, another Yankees pitcher having serious elbow surgery.

That was the news Monday when the team announced that right-hander Chase Whitley will have reconstructive surgery on his right elbow and miss the rest of the season.

Whitley met with Yankees head team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad, who recommended Tommy John surgery. The 25-year-old was scheduled to have the procedure done on Tuesday.

Whitley went 1-2 with a 4.19 ERA in four starts this season. He was forced to leave the Yankees’ 6-1 loss at Tampa Bay on Thursday in the second inning with what was later diagnosed as a sprained elbow.

The injury is just the latest hit to a rotation that’s looking more and more suspect by the day.

Still working his way back from wrist tendinitis and a forearm strain, right-hander Masahiro Tanaka threw his third bullpen session on Monday, while teammate Ivan Nova, who has been out for more than a year following Tommy John surgery, pitched in his fourth extended spring training game.

Tanaka, who hasn’t pitched since April 23, threw 29 pitches at Nationals Park in Washington,, D.C., on an off-day for the Yankees.

The team didn’t announce what is next for Tanaka, but manager Joe Girardi said Sunday that a minor league rehab game Thursday was an option.

Nova threw 42 pitches over three innings against Philadelphia minor leaguers. The right-hander, expected back next month, said he will start another extended spring game Saturday.

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