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Tanaka continues rehab by throwing in outfield

NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka played catch again on Thursday at Yankee Stadium, tossing in the outfield at distances of 60 and 90 feet.

The right-hander, who is hoping to avoid Tommy John surgery by rehabbing a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, will stay with the team through this part of his rehab. The Yankees are aiming for Tanaka to make a September return to the big league rotation.

Manager Joe Girardi said that Tanaka is scheduled to travel to Baltimore with the team next week, where he will continue his throwing program.

Girardi said that Tanaka's next step would be to increase his throwing distance to 120 feet. Bullpen sessions and Minor League rehab games would follow if Tanaka has no further issues.

"Hopefully, there's a point where we have to send him on rehab starts, but right now he's going to stay with us," Girardi said.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.
Read More: New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka