Joba takes all precautions as return to mound nears

Chamberlain wants to make sure there's no risk of injury
05/17/2013 12:46 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Joba Chamberlain is playing it smart before rejoining the Yankees.(AP)

Joba Chamberlain is eligible to be activated from the disabled list, but in an appearance at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night, the reliever reiterated Joe Girardi's words that he is not yet ready to return.

"I just have to continue to make sure that everything's strong so it doesn't continue to linger on through the rest of the season," Chamberlain said. "You have to make sure it's done and taken care of, so I'll just continue to get it stronger, play catch and throw another side, and go from there … it's obviously, at this point, just making sure we cross things off the list."

Chamberlain threw a rehab inning for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday and has thrown a pair of bullpen sessions as well, and will play catch and long toss on Friday as he continues to make sure his oblique is back to 100 percent.

"It's one of those things where every situation is different. [You want] to be able to trust it and know that when you want to go get it, it's there and you don't have to hold anything back," he said. "You want to know that it's there, and it's one of those things where you want to make sure that it's strong. We've done some exercises over the last couple days and it feels good."

The next step will be determined once the results of that session are known, although Joba believes he will have at least one more rehab inning in the Minor Leagues before being activated.

"I would assume [a rehab assignment is next], but for now we're gonna play catch, do some long toss and make sure that it continues to come back good," Chamberlain said. "You want to make sure that you don't push it and a couple of days becomes a week or a month or something."

In his first rehab inning, Chamberlain allowed two hits but was not scored upon, and even in throwing just 12 pitches, he said he felt some very good progress.

"We got the inning in, threw 12 pitches, and I felt command was good and I threw all my pitches, so now I just continue to make sure that it's strong," Chamberlain said. "It's a little different facing Triple-A guys than Major Leaguers, so you want to make sure you get your work in and you're able to throw all your pitches. We did a good job of mixing everything in; obviously, it was an efficient inning, but you want to make sure that if things happen, you're strong enough to extend that."

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