Boston (AFP) - Injured New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was expecting an update on Monday on his rehabilitation process and when he might start throwing again, manager Joe Girardi said Sunday.
"We said three weeks was the mark," Girardi said, and it has been three weeks since the 25-year-old Japanese right-hander received a platelet-rich plasma injection -- part of the treatment that the team hopes will allow him to avoid surgery to address the torn ligament in his right elbow.
Girardi, speaking before the Yankees' 8-7 victory over American League East rivals the Boston Red Sox, said Tanaka saw his doctor on Friday and would be seen again on Monday and told whether he could begin to play catch.
ESPN.com, citing an unnamed source, said the team had already decided that Tanaka would throw the ball on Monday, but Girardi didn't confirm that.
"Catch or no catch -- those are the options," Girardi said.
Tanaka, a rookie in North America, was leading the American League with 12 wins when he was injured, but his level had dropped off in his last four starts, and he was knocked out of a game for the first time in his major league career on July 8 when he surrendered five runs in 6 2/3 innings against Cleveland.
Even if he can begin throwing this week, Tanaka will be weeks away from returning to play.
He inked a seven-year deal worth $155 million with the Yankees after an unbeaten campaign last year for the Japan League champion Rakuten Eagles.
The Yankees downed the World Series champion Red Sox on Sunday after Brett Gardner hit a tiebreaking home run in the sixth and finished with three runs-batted-in.
Stephen Drew drove in four runs against his former club in a see-saw battle that saw the Yankees twice erase three-run deficits.