Nova had been sidelined since Aug. 21 with inflammation in his right rotator cuff, and the Yankees toyed with the idea of having him start on Sunday in place of Freddy Garcia before opting for a bullpen assignment.
"I want to be there helping out the team any way possible," Nova said. "It doesn't matter if it's starting or in the bullpen right now. I just want to be out there."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi did not shoot down the suggestion that Nova could be called upon to start in place of rookie David Phelps during next week's series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
"I don't know. We're not that far ahead," Girardi said. "With some of these tricky weather conditions, I don't know what we'll need. That's why we activated him."