Kelley takes 'big step' with bullpen session

Kelley takes 'big step' with bullpen session

NEW YORK -- Shawn Kelley threw 20 fastballs and snapped off five sliders in the bullpen Friday at Yankee Stadium, his first time on a mound since his back locked up following a May 6 outing against the Angels in Anaheim.

Kelley, who is on the Yankees' 15-day disabled list with a strained lumbar spine, said that he tested his back by throwing with some intensity, about what he normally would have done to prepare for coming into a game.

"Honestly, today was a big step," Kelley said. "If I wake up tomorrow and feel good, then I know that we can probably put a schedule in tact and set a goal."

Kelley is tentatively scheduled to throw another bullpen on Sunday and would then be sent on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment, manager Joe Girardi said.

"He's going to have to pitch somewhere," Girardi said. "It's been 3 1/2 weeks since he's been in a game, so he's going to have to get in a game. We're probably going to want him to do another bullpen first before that happens."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for 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.