Luis Severino still has another month to spend on the injured list, but he is excited about how he is feeling on the way there.
The Yankees right-hander threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Monday, his first since landing on the IL in mid-July with a “low-grade” lat strain.
“I think it’s the best I’ve been feeling all year,” Severino said afterwards.
While Severino was surprised and frustrated about being transferred to the 60-day IL this month, thus delaying his return until Sept. 12 at the earliest, he believes he will be “more than ready” to return that day.
“At that time, I’ll be maybe around 115 pitches,” Severino, who threw all of his pitches in Monday’s bullpen, said with a grin. “I’ll have a lot of time to work on that.”
Assuming Severino bounces back well from Monday’s session, he will throw another on Thursday. Manager Aaron Boone said Severino could have “a few more bullpens” before advancing to facing live hitters, which would be a precursor to a rehab assignment.
“I know he feels really good about how he’s feeling and he certainly looked like that today,” Boone said.
Michael King feels “actually great” right now, but he will feel much better if he does not require an additional surgery. The standout reliever already went under the knife to repair his fractured right elbow, an injury suffered while throwing a pitch July 22 in Baltimore.
“I knew our bullpen needed some help, and I also felt like I was pitching well, so I wanted to throw through whatever soreness I was feeling,” King said Monday in his first comments since the surgery. “There are so many times where I’ll throw through something for a week or two, and it totally goes away and I’m great. And unfortunately, this wasn’t those times.”
When King regains his full range of motion — in about three to six weeks — doctors will check again on his arm to see if his UCL needs Tommy John surgery. If a second procedure is called for, he almost certainly would be out all of next season, too. If not, the righty should be ready for the start of spring training.
“From the MRIs that I was able to get, it looked like the ligament was intact and pretty healthy,” King said.
Harrison Bader’s road to making his Yankees debut remains a work in progress.
The defense-first outfielder, whom the Yankees acquired at the trade deadline in a surprising deal for left-hander Jordan Montgomery, arrived in The Bronx in a walking boot to treat plantar fasciitis. But he has recently moved to “Phase 2” of his recovery, according to Boone.
“It’s that progression of in the pool, onto the AlterG [anti-gravity treadmill] and the weight-bearing [activities],” Boone said. “So he’s in that phase that started in the last couple days. That’ll probably be a week or 10 days of that and then hopefully if that goes well then you start graduating into baseball activities.”