Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Nova plans to throw off mound soon; Feels great after Tommy John surgery

Yankees' right-hander Ivan Nova still has a long way to go before he can pitch again, but the veteran is nonetheless feeling good after his recent Tommy John surgery.

"To be honest, I feel right now like nothing happened," Nova told The New York Post's Dan Martin Tuesday. "I don't feel any pain. I don't feel any tightness. I can do motions and lifting without any problem."

Nova underwent the operation after partially tearing his right UCL in a start against the Rays last April, and isn't expected to rejoin the Yankees' rotation until June. He does, however, plan to begin throwing off a mound soon -- a step up from his current flat-ground tossing of 120 feet.

Nova says he will also attempt to improve on his demeanor in the upcoming season after posting a cringeworthy 8.27 ERA in four outings in 2014. 

"Last year wasn't really a good beginning," Nova said. "I didn't really have a chance to heat up. The way I finished up 2013, I have to go with the same mindset: aggresive."

Nova's return to the Yankees will likely be welcomed by the team considering its numerous question marks heading into camp -- top club hurlers Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda included. Tanaka and Pineda suffered severe injuries to their elbow and back respectively last year, and it remains unknown how they will deal with them in the future. 

But they probably won't be able to rely on Nova to pick up the slack for them if they struggle, as even he acknowledges the sizable amount of rehab he has left.

"I know it's not time yet," the 28-year-old said. "I'm trying not to rush."

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)