Bartolo Colon to see doctor Wednesday

Updated: June 29, 2011, 10:58 AM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

New York Yankees starter Bartolo Colon may be ready to pitch again as soon as this weekend's Subway Series II against the Mets at Citi Field.

Colon, who has been sidelined since June 12 with a strained left hamstring, threw 60 pitches in a simulated game in Tampa on Monday, and before Tuesday night's game between the Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers, manager Joe Girardi hinted that might be all the preparation Colon needs before returning to his starting rotation.

"The concern for me is not his arm, it's to make sure his leg is healed, and that we'll check out,'' said Girardi, who said Colon will be in New York on Wednesday to have his leg evaluated by team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad. In addition to throwing, Colon participated in bunting drills in Tampa over the weekend, fueling speculation he might see action in a designated hitter-less game at a National League park this weekend.

"There's always a little bit of a concern,'' Girardi said. "But he hurt it covering first base, so if he's healthy, we feel that he's ready to go, there's a chance that he's going to pitch.''

The most likely spot for Colon's return would be Saturday afternoon at Citi Field, a spot currently penciled in for converted outfielder Brian Gordon, whose turn is already being skipped Tuesday night in favor of Freddy Garcia.

Although it is customary for pitchers on the disabled list to make at least one rehab start in the minor leagues before returning to the majors -- Phil Hughes will make his third rehab start Wednesday for Double-A Trenton -- Girardi said it was possible Colon could skip that stage of recovery.

"Well, he's really only missed two starts,'' Girardi said. "And it's not abnormal to skip a pitcher a start and then for him to come back and make the next start. You see that happen all the time. And he did somewhat make a rehab start (Monday). He said he felt great, he could've went more and I believe him because he was built up. I don't think that missing the two starts was really that much because he was playing long toss during that time and keeping his arm in shape."

Colon was injured while covering first base in the seventh inning of a start against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium on June 11. To that point, Colon had held the Indians scoreless on two hits.

At 38 years old and without having thrown 100 innings in any of the past five seasons due to elbow and shoulder injuries, Colon's performance has been remarkable this season -- 5-3, 3.10 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 72-18 in 78 1/3 innings. Colon is 3-1 lifetime against the Mets with a 3.46 ERA.

Wallace Matthews covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com.

Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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