Nova Says Rehab Is Going Well, Should Rejoin The Team In June

There hasn't been much on Ivan Nova's rehab from last year's Tommy John Surgery, so it was good to get this report from the AP yesterday: "New York Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova says his surgically repaired right elbow feels great and appears on track to rejoin the team by June.

Nova is throwing on level ground at the Yankees’ minor league complex. He tore a ligament in the elbow last April 19 during a game against Tampa Bay and had surgery 10 days later."

Flat ground throwing is the pitcher's equivalent of a baby learning how to stand up and wobble around before it can walk, but it's an important rehab step for TJS guys, one that gives them their first real test of the elbow.  If Nova says his elbow feels great and there isn't any pain or swelling, that's the best possible news at this stage.

Nova may end up being more important to the rotation this year than most TJS rehab cases simply because he's another depth arm that can soak up innings if other pitchers get hurt.  That said, it would be foolish to expect any kind of immediate return to his peak level of performance.  For the time being, all that matters is that he keeps building up arm strength and stays on track for June.