NEW YORK -- Yankees ace CC Sabathia reported no issues with his left elbow after a bullpen session on Saturday at Yankee Stadium and plans to return to the club's rotation on Friday against the Indians.
Sabathia said that he threw about 20 pitches, cutting loose on the last six or seven, and believes he can be ready to take the mound at Progressive Field in Cleveland -- the first day he is eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list.
"Pending any kind of setbacks or swelling or anything, I should be ready to go," Sabathia said. "I haven't had any of that the past couple of days, so I should be good."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi has been less committed to a Friday return, suggesting that the team doesn't have to rush Sabathia back for that start, but Sabathia replied to that suggestion by twice repeating: "I'm pitching Friday."
Sabathia plans to throw another bullpen session on Tuesday in Chicago, increasing the workload to about 40 pitches.
Sabathia made his second trip to the disabled list this season after experiencing stiffness in his elbow following his start on Aug. 8 against the Tigers in Detroit. The issue prevented Sabathia from touching his left shoulder.
"It's been really good the past couple of days," he said. "I'm just doing a lot of stretching, a lot of treatment -- a lot during the game and at home. The range of motion has gotten a lot better."
Sabathia initially did not want to tell the Yankees about the stiffness, but his wife, Amber, convinced him to mention it. Sabathia fought the assignment to the disabled list, but he now believes it was the best course of action.
"Looking back on it now, yeah," Sabathia said. "It's the same thing as with the groin. I probably wouldn't have said anything, but I woke up that morning and couldn't move my arm or touch my shoulder. I had to come in, but looking back, I pleaded my case to not go on the DL. After throwing today and the past couple of days, the way I felt, it seemed like that was the best way to go."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.