Nova anxious to return, possibly this weekend

Nova anxious to return, possibly this weekend

BALTIMORE -- The Yankees have right-hander Ivan Nova rested and about ready to come off the disabled list, which could forecast a late rotation switch during this series against the Orioles.

Though manager Joe Girardi said the team has not made any decisions regarding Nova, it is possible that the club could activate Nova to make Sunday's start in place of Freddy Garcia.

"I don't know what's going to happen," Nova said. "They don't tell me anything yet. I'm just waiting like you guys. I've got nothing."

Nova has been on the disabled list since Aug. 23 with inflammation in his right rotator cuff, but fired a 30-pitch bullpen session on Thursday at Camden Yards and said he is anxious to get back in action.

"I can't wait to be back on the mound," Nova said. "It feels like two months for me. It feels so weird. I just want to be back there pitching."

Girardi said that because Nova threw a bullpen session Thursday, he probably couldn't help the Yankees on Friday, but added that they could activate him as soon as Saturday if they want to.

"Right now, we haven't made any decisions," Girardi said. "We're on rotation."

Nova was 1-3 with an 8.59 ERA in his last five starts before going on the DL, and is 1-2 with a 7.99 ERA in four starts against the Orioles this season.

But Garcia has struggled as well, unable to complete five innings in two of his three previous starts. Garcia served up three homers to the Rays in his last outing, on Sept. 4, taking the loss in a 5-2 defeat.

"All I want to do is compete and help," Nova said. "I know I wasn't pitching good lately, but I still believe in myself. I know I can help the team to win games."