Yankees News: Ivan Nova stays behind as Yankees gear up for Opening Day


The weather may have been 70 degrees as the team packed up and left their spring training complex, but it was a cold day for pitcher Ivan Nova. As the Yankees gear up for opening day, he’s forced to stay behind and recover from Tommy John surgery.

“I was thinking, ‘I want to go today,'” Nova said. “It’s always hard. It was hard when I got hurt in New York and I wasn’t able to fly with the team. It’s going to be the same thing now, but I’m happy that the season will finally start and we can play. I know that my time will come soon,” said Nova.

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In a best-case scenario, Nova is slated to return in June. While it is possible that he could return to action sooner than that, the Yankees aren’t taking any chances and are building him up slowly, looking to actively evade setbacks in his recovery.

The reason the New York Yankees are being cautious with Nova is that he’ll serve as an insurance policy for Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia. They were only able to pitch 136 and 46 innings respectively last season due to injuries of their own. If Nova can indeed be ready in June, he will bolster what will hopefully be an effective pitching rotation.

It isn’t all that bad news for Nova though. Looking towards his long recovery, he’s invited two brothers to join him in Tampa. His mother will also visit him at the end of the month.

His recovery also seems to be going well. “It feels great. I don’t feel any pain or anything like that,” Nova said. “I feel strong. I see some velocity coming out in the bullpen — at the end, I’ll throw three or four pitches and let it go a little bit. The other pitches are going great. I have no worries. I’m really happy the way everything is going so far.”

Up next for nova are two 45-pitch bullpen sessions next week. After that, he’ll advance to  live batters instead of bullpen sessions.