Sabathia and the rest of the Yankees' pitchers are due to arrive in camp on Feb. 12. The 32-year-old had arthroscopic surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews in October to remove a small bone spur.
Yanks manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild have said that they expect no issues with Sabathia, and the hurler agreed with that assessment, coming off a campaign in which he was 15-6 with a 3.38 ERA during the regular season.
"I don't think I'll be that far behind; maybe just a bullpen session behind or a batting practice session I might skip," Sabathia said. "We'll see what happens when I get down there and talk to Larry and Joe."
Sabathia was in New York on Tuesday to accept community outreach honors at the 33rd annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner, held at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Midtown Manhattan, and he said the name of the fallen Yankees captain resonated with him.
"Just talking to older guys and guys who played with him, [Munson] was a great teammate," Sabathia said. "He was a great captain, very passionate, and that's something that you want to be as a teammate. The greatest honor is that the guys you played with had respect for you, and that's what his name means to me."
Yanks pitcher David Phelps was also present to receive the "Rising Star" award for his impressive debut campaign of 2012, and said he hopes to rejoin Sabathia in the rotation this season.
"I would like to. Anything could happen," Phelps said. "We have seven days until pitchers and catchers report. I'm just going to go in and try to help the team, whatever role that may be."
Sabathia had two stints on the disabled list last year, including a bout of elbow inflammation that prevented him from raising his left arm above his head, but Sabathia said that he sees no logic in reducing his goal of a heavy workload.
"I look at it one year at a time. That's what I've always done," Sabathia said. "I don't want to hold anything back or sacrifice anything one season to look forward three years from now. I'm playing for right now and trying to win a championship, and I want to go out there as many times as I can and try to help the team. I'll do what I can to stay healthy."
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.