Optimistic Feliciano eyes return this year

Optimistic Feliciano eyes return this year

Optimistic Feliciano eyes return this year
NEW YORK -- Pedro Feliciano did not have high hopes when he was referred to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on the torn capsule in his left shoulder, already steeling his mind for the worst diagnosis.

But as the Yankees left-hander visited the noted sports orthopedist's office in Pensacola, Fla., last week, he received some welcome and surprising news.

Andrews recommended a six-week strengthening program that may save part of Feliciano's first season as a Yankee, and Feliciano wholeheartedly agreed with the idea.

"I went with my head down, ready to get my surgery and hear some bad second opinions," Feliciano said. "He said what he saw on the MRIs was old stuff that got in my arm and bothered me now. I said, 'Why not get my strength, work out for six weeks and then come back?'"

Feliciano is expected to remain with the Yankees for most of those six weeks and won't be able to resume throwing for some time, but he is already optimistically thinking about pitching in late June or early July.

Feliciano signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the Yankees after leading the Major Leagues in appearances in each of the last three seasons across town with the Mets.

"I'll just give it a shot," Feliciano said. "If I do a good rehab [assignment] and pitch again with no pain, it'll be good for the team and good for me."