Yankees' Pavano makes first rehab start since surgery

Updated: August 10, 2006, 9:23 PM ET
Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- New York Yankees pitcher Carl Pavano threw 2 2/3 innings Thursday night in his first minor league rehabilitation start since surgery in May for a bone chip above his right elbow.

Pitching for Class A Tampa against the Daytona Cubs, Pavano allowed three runs, five hits, one intentional walk, striking out one. The right-hander has not pitched in the major leagues since June 27, 2005.

"It's a step in the right direction," said Pavano, who threw 28 of 42 pitches for strikes. "I felt like today I probably could have thrown more. I'm excited to get out there again on Tuesday."

Pavano, whose fastball reached 91 mph, is to pitch for Tampa on Tuesday at Brevard County.

"I felt like my command was better than the results," Pavano said. "My arm felt good. My body felt good. I felt like I was commanding both sides of the plate. Obviously, I'm going to get sharper. It's my first start. I just wanted to come out of this feeling good and build from there."

Pavano left his previous start, for Double-A Trenton, after only nine pitches May 17. He had arthroscopic surgery eight days later.

Pavano did not pitch in spring training this year until March 28 due to back soreness. In his first game against Philadelphia, he fielded a slow grounder near a foul line from his first batter, Bobby Abreu, and stumbled as he dove to first for the out. While Pavano completed the inning, he bruised his buttocks on the play, which sidelined him again.

Pavano signed a $39.95 million, four-year contract with the Yankees after the 2004 season. He went 4-6 with a 4.77 earned-run average last season before going on the DL with rotator cuff tendinitis.

In other news, Yankees left fielder Hideki Matsui is scheduled to have his injured left wrist re-examined Friday. Matsui, who hasn't played since breaking the wrist while diving for a fly ball on May 11, hopes to return next month.

"I don't know, obviously, exactly what date," Matsui said through a translator, "but that's what I expect."

Matsui has been hitting off a tee with a small bat, one-handed with his right arm. He also is throwing in the outfield, but is having a second person catch the return throws for him.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press