ANAHEIM - Dave Robertson, shut down shortly after his Sept. 5 outing because of tightness in his right elbow, is close to returning.

The righthanded reliever threw off the bullpen mound before last night's game, throwing 20 pitches, mostly fastballs. Robertson previously had thrown just flat-ground sessions.

"No discomfort at all," Robertson said in the clubhouse. "I'm ready to just keep moving forward."

The next step will come Thursday when Robertson will throw another bullpen.

"The next one [session] will probably be a little more intense, then we'll make a decision after that," Joe Girardi said.

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The goal remains to have Robertson, who has 61 strikeouts in 41 innings, available by next week.

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Pettitte's shoulder OK

A night after going six innings, Andy Pettitte said his left shoulder still felt strong, with no lingering effects of the fatigue that caused the Yankees to bump him from last Wednesday's start.

"I feel good," Pettitte said before last night's game. "I'm sore but that's just normal soreness from pitching.''

 

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Nine on her team, too

Yankees videos

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a Bronx native and Yankees fan, will throw out the first pitch Saturday as a part of Hispanic Heritage Month. Panama President Ricardo Martinelli will throw out the first pitch Friday.

 

Extra bases

Phil Coke, who suffered flulike symptoms from Sunday night into Monday morning and received fluids via IV late Monday morning at a hospital, was back in uniform last night.