Baseball - Tanaka confident after bullpen session

Baseball - Yankees shut down Tanaka over sore right arm
(FILES) In this file photo taken August 16, 2014, Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees pitches in his first bullpen session since being placed on the disabled list, at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida. The Yankees announced on Friday (August 29, 2014) that Tanaka is out indefinitely after suffering soreness in his right arm following a simulated game exercise. Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images/AFP (AFP Photo/Scott Iskowitz)

- New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, rehabbing a torn elbow ligament, threw 25 fastballs off a bullpen mound on Saturday and said he felt no pain.

"I think we're heading in the right direction, so I feel good about that," Tanaka said after the bullpen session at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The 25-year-old Japanese right-hander was diagnosed with a partially torn right ulnar collateral ligament in July.

Later that month he received a platelet-rich plasma injection as he and the team sought to boost healing and help avoid "Tommy John" tendon replacement surgery that would end his season and likely see him miss all of 2015 as well.

He threw for the first time on August 5, but hadn't thrown full force off a mound until Saturday and remains hopeful of pitching again this season for the Yankees.