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Moving in 'right direction,' Tanaka plays catch

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka echoed the thoughts of Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, saying that he was not at all concerned about the right forearm strain or tendinitis in his right wrist that currently have him on the disabled list.

Tanaka played catch for the second straight day on Friday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, completing 25 throws from 60 feet and 25 throws from 90 feet, gradually increasing the intensity on each throw. Most important for the Yankees, he once again reported no pain.

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NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka echoed the thoughts of Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, saying that he was not at all concerned about the right forearm strain or tendinitis in his right wrist that currently have him on the disabled list.

Tanaka played catch for the second straight day on Friday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, completing 25 throws from 60 feet and 25 throws from 90 feet, gradually increasing the intensity on each throw. Most important for the Yankees, he once again reported no pain.

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"Definitely going in the right direction," Tanaka said through an interpreter.

For now, these are modest steps before Tanaka completes a Minor League rehab assignment or even throws a bullpen session -- it's unclear when that would occur -- but they at least represent progress.

Before Thursday, Tanaka had been shut down since April 28, when he arrived at Yankee Stadium and reported feeling some discomfort in his wrist. An MRI that night revealed the damage in his arm that landed him on the DL for at least a month.

Tanaka, who has an off-day from throwing scheduled on Saturday, said he was still not sure what caused the wrist and forearm injuries, but said they had nothing to do with the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Tigers pitcher David Price tweeted after learning about Tanaka's injury that the cold weather may have played a part in the injury, but Tanaka refuted that idea. And he scoffed at the thought that it had anything to do with the way he threw his splitter, because "he's always thrown that way."

"Not really sure," Tanaka said regarding the injury. "Maybe coming from the tightness I had in the forearm, but I can't really say for sure."

Whatever pain he had been feeling is gone, so the Yankees do not plan on being more careful with Tanaka's rehab than they would with any other player.

"Yeah, it feels good," Tanaka said about his right arm. "That's basically why I'm going step by step, trying to get back to the mound."

Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka