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Girardi encouraged by Nova's bullpen session

NEW YORK -- The Yankees watched pitcher Ivan Nova throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and were encouraged with his progress as he continues to rehab from Tommy John surgery.

Nova threw 75 pitches over 4 2/3 innings on Monday for Class A-Advanced Tampa to begin a rehab assignment. He's scheduled to continue the assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre later this week, at which point the Yankees will reevaluate him and determine if he's ready to rejoin the Major League club.

Nova shrugged off the notion of needing another start after his Triple-A stint in order to be ready.

"If you ask me that question, you know I'm going to say no," Nova said. "I'm ready to go."

"We're pretty encouraged with where he's at right now," manager Joe Girardi said. "The sink on his fastball, his changeup and his curveball -- we're pretty encouraged."

Before his surgery in 2014, Nova went 2-2 in four starts. Girardi said the Yankees view him strictly as a starter and credited improved treatment for the reason more pitchers are coming back from Tommy John surgery quicker.

"I think you evaluate where he is after each start, how built up he is. He should be able to give you 90 pitches the next time -- 85 to 90 pitches -- and then you just look at his stuff," Girardi said. "His bullpen was good today. He threw it in front of us because we wanted to see him. He has a start coming up in Scranton soon, and we'll go from there."

Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for
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