Bartolo Colon could return vs. Mets

Updated: June 30, 2011, 11:00 AM ET
By Ian Begley | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK - Barring a setback, injured New York Yankees right-hander Bartolo Colon should be back in pinstripes Saturday.

General manager Brian Cashman said Wednesday evening that the Yankees "were inclined to bring back" Colon to pitch against the Mets this weekend at Citi Field.

Earlier Wednesday manager Joe Girardi said the Yankees would choose between Colon and journeyman Brian Gordon for the start on Saturday afternoon. But Cashman hinted that the Yankees would go with Colon as long as he didn't suffer any setbacks leading up to Saturday.

"If he looks the way we've been told then I think yeah, we're inclined to bring him back for this weekend," Cashman said. "I think that's our mindset. Bottom line is, as long as everything goes right, I think you'll see him this weekend."

Girardi said Colon will still have to go through "some drills" before he gets cleared for the start. He hinted that a decision would be made Friday. Colon, out since June 12 with a left hamstring injury, was back in New York on Wednesday to be examined by team doctor Chris Ahmad. He declined to speak with reporters.

"We're going to run him through some drills and then we'll know in a couple days what we're going to do with him," Girardi said. "I have no answers yet. He's got to go through some drills."

It is customary for an injured pitcher to throw at least one minor league rehab game before returning to the rotation -- Phil Hughes (shoulder inflammation) threw his third on Wednesday with Double-A Trenton -- but Girardi had said Tuesday that Colon could skip that step in the rehab process.

The 38-year-old right-hander threw 60 pitches in a four-inning simulated game in Tampa on Monday and seems to have bounced back from the strained left hamstring he suffered on June 11 while running to cover first base against the Indians.

He is 5-3 with a 3.10 ERA in 10 starts this season, with an outstanding strikeouts-to-walks ratio of 72-18.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews was used in this report.

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