Tanaka to throw in instructional league game Monday

Tanaka to throw in instructional league game Monday

NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka is set to throw an instructional league game at the Yankees' Minor League facility in Tampa, Fla., on Monday as he attempts to make his way back to the Majors this season after partially tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Tanaka felt good on Wednesday, one day after throwing 45 pitches in a three-inning simulated game at Yankee Stadium, and he has continued to feel improvement in his pitching elbow. He will also throw a bullpen session in Baltimore on Friday.

If Tanaka passes those steps, he will almost certainly be activated from the 60-day disabled list. It sets him up to potentially pitch during the Yankees' final homestand against the Blue Jays or the Orioles.

That would likely give him enough time to make two starts and the Yankees a chance to see how his elbow holds up against the pressure of pitching in game action.

Tanaka has not pitched in a game since July 8 against the Indians, after which he complained of elbow soreness. He is following the advice of four leading physicians and hoping to avoid Tommy John surgery that would cost him at least a year.

Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.