Originally posted on Sliding Into Home  |  Last updated 6/3/12
From Roger Rubin:
With reliever David Robertson and outfielder Brett Gardner close to beginning minor league rehab assignments, Joe Girardi is asked daily about their progress. On Saturday he brought other, unexpected, rehab news: reliever Joba Chamberlain is throwing pitches from halfway up a mound. And Girardi believes the righthander will return and contribute for the Bombers this season.

“I believe he’ll be back,” Girardi said. “I am no doctor, no rehab therapist, but just knowing Joba I believe he’s going to be back for us this year.”

Chamberlain was working his way back from Tommy John surgery when he suffered a freak right ankle injury in March. It was called an “open dislocation” where the bone was exposed and there was considerable bleeding, although he claimed both of those aspects were untrue.

The righthander is using a small brace on the ankle and isn’t yet throwing 100%. Girardi said Chamberlain’s mobility isn’t to the point where he can run a sprint, but still can do mound work. He will have difficult tests to pass if he is to make good on his spring training vow to play this year.

“I think his arm is going to be fine,” Girardi said. “I think it’s going to be can he tolerate the pounding you go through as a pitcher — having to cover the base, when you land (and) when you push off? Those are the hurdles he’s going to have to clear.”

Why does Girardi believe Chamberlain will make it back? “Most people I wouldn’t have, but (with) Joba I did,” he said. “When it comes to pain thresholds and a lot of things I’ve seen this kid get through, not many people have done it.”
We'll see what happens, but to me this is just blind optimism from the manager.
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