Joba gets 'butterflies' in return to Stadium

Joba gets 'butterflies' in return to Stadium

Joba gets 'butterflies' in return to Stadium
NEW YORK -- Joba Chamberlain said that he felt some excitement walking back into Yankee Stadium on Friday. Of course, considering the reliever's situation, there's part of him that is happy just to be walking.

Chamberlain had the large cast removed from his right ankle last week and is in a more mobile walking boot, just five weeks after he suffered an open dislocation of his right ankle while playing on a trampoline with his son, Karter.

"I had butterflies walking in," Chamberlain said. "It's been a while since I've been here, being able to play catch and doing those things. It was pretty exciting."

Chamberlain is also continuing to rehab from Tommy John surgery and said that he wasn't set back much by the March 22 injury in Tampa, Fla. Before the ankle injury, the Yankees were expecting Chamberlain to rejoin their bullpen in June.

"[My arm] feels great," Chamberlain said. "It feels like nothing happened, which is good. You just continue to keep that strong, keep that healthy. That's going to take some worry off my mind, as far as getting my ankle ready."

The Yankees are proceeding conservatively with Chamberlain and are not counting on him to return to a big league mound in 2012, though Chamberlain said that he believes he will be able to pitch this year.

"It's going to take a lot of things to stop me from doing that," Chamberlain said. "You've got to be patient and understand that it's a process."