Masahiro Tanaka was scheduled to see a doctor on Monday in order to determine if the New York Yankees' ace can start throwing, but even before he does that it looks like Tanaka has already been cleared to throw.
Earlier in the day, manager Joe Girardi said Tanaka's status would be determined after meeting with his doctor.
However, WFAN's Sweeny Murti is reporting that Tanaka is already set to start throwing on Monday, which is the first step in his return from a slightly torn UCL in his elbow:
Masahiro Tanaka scheduled to play catch Mon. First step of many to see if he can avoid TJ surgery and pitch again this season.
— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) August 3, 2014
Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com confirmed as much, stating that Girardi was just likely hesitant to say so to the media:
Despite Girardi's reluctance to say so, a source in Yankees clubhouse told me Tanaka "will definitely throw tomorrow''
— wallace matthews (@ESPNNYYankees) August 3, 2014
Monday marks week three of Tanaka's six-week timetable for return, so if you take that literally the Japanese star will be back on August 25; although that's the best-case scenario and the Yanks will likely heir on the side of caution.
If that's the case, Tanaka should be back the first week of September at the latest, barring any setbacks.
If he has so much as a hiccup in his rehab, Tanaka may need Tommy John surgery.
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