NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia called the two-plus weeks he spent on the disabled list "embarrassing," but he will return to the rotation Tuesday against Toronto acknowledging that the rest was likely good for his arm.
The left-hander said he has not felt soreness from the groin strain that landed him on the 15-day DL since the week he suffered the injury and felt it again during a bullpen session two days after a June 24 start against the Mets.
The Yankees opted to take the safe route and shut him down, causing him to miss two scheduled starts before the All-Star break. They will use caution again when he returns to the Yankee Stadium mound, with manager Joe Girardi monitoring his pitch count. Sabathia averaged 112 pitches in his first 15 starts.
"I've thrown a lot in between," Sabathia said. "I threw [Sunday], so I feel like I've had enough work off the mound, played enough catch, threw off flat ground, that I should be able to go out and be able to throw strikes."
Sabathia, who had not missed a scheduled start since 2006 prior to the DL stint, kept to his normal between-start routine approaching Tuesday's return.
"Command of his stuff -- that's my biggest concern when you haven't pitched in over 15 days," Girardi said. "I want to see how he does. The other thing: Just stay healthy, please. Just stay healthy and we'll get through the rest of it."