NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka is still reporting discomfort in his right elbow, 10 days after receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection, but the Yankees are still hopeful to have the right-hander return to the big league mound this season.
Tanaka was diagnosed with a small tear of his right ulnar collateral ligament earlier this month. Three doctors recommended a six-week rehab program instead of having Tanaka undergo Tommy John surgery.
"He's improved, but he still feels it," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in an interview with ESPN New York 98.7 FM. "On a daily basis, it decreases, so that's good. But it's not good that he's still feeling it at this stage. We just go day by day and week by week, and we'll adjust accordingly. Right now, it's too early to call."
The Yankees have said that Tanaka would have three weeks of rest from throwing, so he would likely attempt to resume playing catch in the first week of August. After that, Tanaka would have to go through the gauntlet of bullpen sessions, batting practice and then Minor League rehab games to get back to the big leagues.
"We've got to wait three weeks to see where he's at," manager Joe Girardi said. "Then we'll probably start to have him play catch and see if he's going to be a pitcher for us. You've got to let things heal. Things don't heal overnight."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Jake Kring-Schreifels is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.