Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka will test out his injured right by playing catch at Yankee Stadium on Monday, reports ESPN's Wallace Matthews. General Manager Brian Cashman also confirmed the report to the NY Post on Sunday.
It's been nearly three weeks since Tanaka received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow on July 14 and has been resting his elbow since. If all goes well with the throwing today, the rehab will continue and he'll try to get back to the Yankees as soon as possible. If something goes wrong and Tanaka still feels something in his arm, Tommy John surgery becomes even more likely to happen.
Tanaka hasn't pitched since July 8 in Cleveland, where he allowed five runs, including two home runs, in 6 2/3 innings against the Indians.
Manager Joe Girardi told reporters on Sunday that Tanaka would almost need to go through a spring training-type rehab, about four-to-five weeks, before being ready to return to the majors.
"I'm not exactly sure how we would do that," Girardi told Matthews. "It's not starting all over because he's been built up. But it'll be probably [throwing] 60 feet, and then 60 and 90, and 90 and 120, then flat ground and bullpen and probably a rehab game."
The Yankees didn't pick up any starting pitchers at the trading deadline -- just Brandon McCarthy, and that was prior to the All-Star break -- but they might not need any with Pineda on his way back, and the possibility of Tanaka coming back sometime in September for the final playoff push.