Joba's progress impresses Girardi

Joba's progress impresses Girardi

DETROIT -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi said reliever Joba Chamberlain threw from a half-mound on Saturday as he rehabilitates his injured right ankle.

The Yankees' skipper said that Chamberlain, who was injured in late March while jumping on a trampoline with his son, is wearing a small brace on the ankle. Girardi said the injury may have slowed other pitchers down longer, but he wasn't surprised to hear Chamberlain is back on course.

"When it comes to a pain threshold, and a lot of things that I've seen this kid get through, there's not many people that have done it," Girardi said. "I look at what he went through with the Tommy John [surgery], and I have to question when he actually [injured himself]. He probably pitched a game or two with it, he played long toss with it. He just has that weird sense that he can do a lot of things that it takes people a little longer to do."

Girardi remained adamant that the Yankees could see the right-hander again this season. Chamberlain was 2-0 with a 2.83 ERA in 27 appearances out of the bullpen last season and is 20-13 with a 3.70 ERA in five seasons with New York.

"I've always said I believe that he'll be back," Girardi said. "I'm no doctor, no rehab therapist, but just knowing Joba, I believe he's going to be back for us this year."

Girardi also said that injured right-handed reliever David Robertson threw a bullpen session and injured outfielder Brett Gardner hit in the cage, as expected.