Corey Kluber's return to the New York Yankees' rotation was up in the air after he suffered a shoulder strain in May. However, the right-hander is confident he'll return this season.
"[I am confident] because of the way I've felt throwing, the way I bounce back, the calendar, things like that," Kluber said before the Yankees' 6-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Friday, according to ESPN's Marly Rivera. "The way I look at it is that I'm not really trying to think I'm up against a timeline because I think the natural process of the rehab will allow for that."
Kluber's shoulder strain required full rest for at least four weeks, followed by at least four weeks of rehabilitation. He is eligible to come off the injured list on Sunday but wouldn't offer Rivera a specific timeline for his return.
"I have to sit back and wait for the process to unfold," he said. "I've just found it's easier for me to take it day by day and not get ahead of myself, not look too far in advance. I think that's probably the best way. ... It's about paying attention to the way you recover and the way you bounce back when there is a new step along the way."
Kluber earned the second spot in the Yankees' rotation behind Gerrit Cole this season. Before suffering the injury, the 35-year-old went 4-3 with a 3.04 ERA, 1.200 WHIP and 55 strikeouts in 53.1 innings.
Kluber is in his first season with the Yankees after spending time with Cleveland and the Texas Rangers.
New York is third in the AL East with a 50-46 record, nine games behind the division-leading Red Sox, whom they will again compete against on Saturday at Fenway Park.