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Encouraged Joba Chamberlain: 'I feel like I'm ready'

Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain during spring training at

Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain during spring training at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. (Feb. 22, 2010) Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Joba Chamberlain remains encouraged and thinks he's nearly ready to return to the Yankees.

The reliever was at the Stadium Friday, tossing a bullpen session in front of team officials in preparation for his next rehabilitation assignment. Chamberlain, working his way back from elbow and ankle injuries, didn't report any issues afterward and is pleased with his progress.

"I never had any doubt whatsoever," he said. "It's going to be awesome to put this uniform on again at some point and be able to pitch for this team. The biggest thing for me is to show my son -- the fact that he was there with me through this whole thing -- is to never give up on anything that you set your mind to. That was the biggest thing that drove me through this whole thing."

Chamberlain is expected to pitch for Double-A Trenton on Sunday, a move up in classification. He hopes to enter a game in the middle of an inning, possibly with runners on base, something he hasn't done.

He estimates his fastball velocity is somewhere around 94 to 100 miles per hour. "Yeah, I feel like I'm ready," he said. "Obviously, the physical part's over now. It's just the mental part now of getting into a routine and trusting your pitches and the fact you can get guys out."

New York Sports