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Masahiro Tanaka scheduled to throw off a mound for first time since injury

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Masahiro Tanaka's throwing program is going well so far.
Masahiro Tanaka's throwing program is going well so far. (USATSI)

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Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who is looking to avoid Tommy John surgery, is a week and a half into his throwing program after receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow roughly one month ago. He will get back on the mound for the first time on Saturday.

Tanaka was diagnosed with a partially torn elbow ligament early last month. He has reported no pain during his throwing program as has progressed from throwing at 60 feet to 90 feet to 120 feet. If all goes well, he will be able to return to the team sometime in September.

Before getting hurt, the 25-year-old Tanaka went 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA and an insane 135/19 K/BB in 18 starts and 129 1/3 innings. He signed a seven-year, $155 million contract with the Yankees over the winter.

The Yankees just welcomed Michael Pineda back from the disabled list, though they are still without Tanaka, CC Sabathia (knee) and Ivan Nova (Tommy John surgery). Three-fifths of their Opening Day rotation remains on the disabled list.

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