- Wallace Matthews, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia is not expected to return to the Yankees' rotation until somewhere around July 1, but the big left-hander says he hopes to begin throwing, on two legs, sometime this week.
Sabathia, who went on the disabled list on May 11 with right knee inflammation, underwent a stem-cell injection in the knee three weeks ago and has been limited to some pool work, walking on an anti-gravity treadmill and -- this could be a first -- playing catch while sitting in a chair. He has even thrown batting practice to his young son from the comfort of a chair.
But sometime this week -- he did not know exactly when -- CC said he hopes to be able to play catch for the first time since being shut down with the injury, which is in the same knee that was operated on for a torn meniscus following the 2010 season.
"We're taking it further each day with more stuff, and seeing if it’s going to swell up," Sabathia said in the Yankees' clubhouse before Monday night's makeup game against the Seattle Mariners. "I have no pain so far, so we start throwing sometime this week, and we’ll go from there. I think I’ll be more at ease once I play catch outside, standing up, and so this week we should have a little more clarity about how long it’s going to be."
Sabathia said he has sought advice from Amar'e Stoudemire of the Knicks, who had a similar procedure, about how to rehab after the painful stem-cell injection, which left his knee stiff and swollen for a couple of days afterward.
"It wasn't fun," he said. "I didn’t know going into it what it was going to be like, and when I woke up, my leg was stiff, and I didn’t know what was going on. But three, four days later I felt pretty good, and I’ve been feeling good ever since."
No word on Tex: Joe Girardi said he had not seen Mark Teixeira prior to his pregame media session and could not offer any prediction on whether his first baseman, currently down with inflammation in his surgically-repaired right wrist, would be able to return to the lineup Tuesday as hoped.
But the manager acknowledged that if Teixeira, who had a cortisone shot over the weekend, does not feel well enough to go Tuesday, he will start to worry about how long it will take him to return to the lineup.
“If he’s still struggling tomorrow, then I’ll be more concerned," Girardi said. "We’ve been reassured by his doctor that did the surgery a couple of times that this is going to go away and he’s going to be OK. A couple of weeks ago, he didn’t have any of this. Until we get through tomorrow, I’m not sure what to think.”
Beltran, Cervelli play: Both Carlos Beltran and Francisco Cervelli played in a minor league game down in Clearwater, Florida, on Monday, and while Girardi could not provide any details, he did say Beltran "had a good day. The reports were good, though I don’t know what the reports were. They just said he had a good day.”
The hope is Beltran will need just a couple of rehab games before returning to the lineup. Cervelli, who is on the 60-day DL with a Grade 2 hamstring strain, is not eligible to return until June 11.
Kelley progressing: Shawn Kelley was able to bend over and put his own sock on this afternoon, which as anyone who has had lower back pain knows is quite an accomplishment. Kelley himself said that when his back problem was at its worst, he needed to lie flat on his bed and raise his leg up in order to get a sock on. Thankfully, those days are past, he said, and the tentative plan is for him to pitch a simulated game on the Stadium field before Wednesday's game against the Oakland Athletics, and if all goes well, he would be sent on a (presumably brief) minor league rehab assignment before rejoining the team at some point during the three-city (Kansas City, Seattle and Oakland) road trip that begins on Friday.