Yankees News: James Paxton is hopeful he can return from the IL in mid-May

James Paxton #65 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
James Paxton #65 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

It’s been a little over a month since James Paxton underwent back surgery and on Wednesday he was able to resume throwing for the first time since December.

Paxton made 25 tosses from 60 feet and came away from the session feeling great. It’s the first time he hasn’t felt pain in his back while throwing since last September and says the best-case scenario for his return to the Yankees rotation would be in mid-May.

When the Yankees announced Paxton had undergone surgery on February 5th the original timetable they put out was three to four months. He’s still early in the rehab process but it looks like he’s on the right track.

The left-hander told reporters that the plan is for him to have the day off on Thursday and on Friday he’ll make another 25-30 throws from 60 to 75 feet. This so going to be a slow process for Paxton as he’ll gradually increase his workload and distance until he is throwing consistently at 120 feet according to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. Then he will step back on the mound and begin throwing bullpens and facing live hitters in sim games.

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This is all very encouraging news for the Yankees because they desperately need Paxton to make a big impact once he returns. With Luis Severino gone for the season after undergoing TJ surgery two weeks ago and Domingo German suspended for the first 63 games the starting staff is lacking depth but if Paxton can return to form the rotation should be a strength of the team.

The Yankees received more good news on Wednesday after reliever Zack Britton had an injury scare during his morning live bp session. He apparently had a line drive hit off of his right wrist by Erik Kratz, but thankfully X-Rays came back negative so he should be ok.

Giancarlo Stanton is also progressing well after he suffered a Grade 1 calf strain while doing outfield drills back on February 25th. Stanton was among the group of hitters who took live batting practice off of Adam Ottavino and Britton. He hit an opposite-field home run off the All-Star left-hander in one of his at-bats.

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Stanton could begin running on the field today but he’s still highly doubtful to be ready for Opening Day. That being said, he’s definitely trending in a positive direction and should be able to return to the lineup at some point in April.