NEW YORK -- Joba Chamberlain's surgically repaired elbow is close to the point where the Yankees would have been thinking about his big league return, had he not suffered an ankle injury this spring.
The Yankees view it as a positive sign that Chamberlain seems to have recovered from Tommy John surgery, even though his timetable was pushed back by an open dislocation of his ankle in a March trampoline accident.
"He's always Superman," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "He gets hurt; unfortunately, that's happened in his career. But he heals a lot quicker than the time frame. He breaks down and he's a super healer."
Chamberlain has been throwing and running sprints, and said in Tampa, Fla., that there is no question in his mind that he will pitch in the Major Leagues this season. Cashman wouldn't go that far, but he has been encouraged by Chamberlain's progress.
"I'm not going to guarantee it, but is it possible? Yeah," Cashman said. "He's clearing all the hurdles so far, but he's got more hurdles to go."