NEW YORK -- Injured relief pitcher Brian Bruney took another step toward rejoining the Yankees' bullpen on Sunday afternoon, throwing a bullpen session with no pain before his team's game against the Rays.
Bruney, who has worked just one inning since April 21 while dealing with a strained right elbow, threw 15 pitches, sat for four minutes, then tossed another 15. He used his fastball exclusively, and bullpen coach Mike Harkey stood at the plate for part of the time to simulate a batter in the box.
Afterward, Bruney said the last time his arm felt this good was "a long time ago."
"It went excellent -- no pain," Bruney said. "It was a huge positive step for us."
Bruney acknowledged his physical strength has not fully returned, citing the fact that he hasn't lifted upper-body weights in more than a month. His arm speed, though, is fine. He stressed that he should be able to pitch effectively at the Major League level as he continues building back his strength.
"As far as my injury goes, I felt great today," Bruney said. "I'm excited about it. I think the training staff and the coaches are excited about it."
There is still no official timetable for Bruney's return to the Yankees, and the club has given no indication if it plans to send him on a rehab stint or immediately activate him from the disabled list.
Bruney said he expects to throw another bullpen session this week in Boston during his team's three-game series with the Red Sox. That time, he may boost his pitch count up to 35 and work in breaking balls.
"I think as long as we feel good, we take the next step, which is probably another one of these [bullpen sessions], maybe add some more pitches," Bruney said. "See how that goes and after that, if that goes well, maybe a live [batting practice.]"
Bruney is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in nine innings this season.
Jared Diamond is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.