CC to throw 40-45 pitches in first rehab start

CC to throw 40-45 pitches in first rehab start

NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia is expected to throw between 40-45 pitches when he makes his first rehab start for Class A Advanced Tampa on Saturday facing Dunedin in a 6 p.m. ET game at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla.

Sabathia, who has been sidelined since May 10 with a right knee injury, is expected to make at least three starts during his rehab assignment. His workload will increase with each start -- around 60 pitches for his second start and 70-75 for his final one.

"The important thing to me is that he's able to bounce back, that the knee is not an issue and it doesn't get in the way," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "If it doesn't, then we can have him back fairly quickly."

In eight starts prior to going on the disabled list, Sabathia was 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA and had allowed 10 home runs. Sabathia maintained that his injury was not the sole reason for his early-season struggles, but he had been feeling some discomfort for at least his last three starts before the Yankees decided to shut him down.

"I'm hoping that this little break will help him physically be better and stronger," Girardi said. "Because for it to get to that point, my thought is maybe there was a little weakness in there before. But our hope is yes, that he will be better and he will be strong and he will help anchor this rotation."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.