It was a rare sight, seen only twice since the season started: Michael Pineda in the Yankees' clubhouse.
"I'm feeling better," the 23-year-old righthander said Tuesday.
Pineda, who had surgery May 1 to repair a labrum tear in his right shoulder, was in New York to be evaluated by Yankees doctors.
Pineda, who looked trim and in shape -- he showed up to spring training overweight -- said he's been told he can begin throwing in the middle of September.
As of now he's working out and going to physical therapy every day.
The timetable established for Pineda, who said "it's been hard" being sidelined, is that he'll be set for 2013.
"I hope so," said Pineda, who was headed back to Tampa Tuesday night. "I want to be ready for spring training next year. I'm feeling great right now. I'm feeling much better."
While in Tampa, Pineda has had a front-row seat for another big-name pitcher who is rehabbing -- Joba Chamberlain, by all accounts ahead of schedule in his recovery from the right ankle injury he suffered on a trampoline in March.
"He's looking good," Pineda said. "I've seen a couple of bullpens from this guy, and he looks good."
Aardsma takes mound
David Aardsma, signed in February with the intent of having him ready for 2013 as he continued his recovery from Tommy John surgery, pitched a scoreless inning Tuesday with the GCL Yankees, his first rehab appearance. It is possible Aardsma, who tweeted that his next scheduled outing will be Saturday, could be big-league ready in four to five weeks.
Brett Gardner walked through the clubhouse with a large brace made of light metal on his right arm but said it wasn't as dramatic as it appeared.
"Just something to make sure I don't do anything I shouldn't be doing," said Gardner, who has been on the DL since April 18 with an elbow strain.
The brace was suggested by orthopedic specialists Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Timothy Kremchek to ensure Gardner's compliance with the three to four weeks of rest prescribed for the elbow.