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Joba Chamberlain could be back in less than a month

Joba Chamberlain looks on during batting practice before

Joba Chamberlain looks on during batting practice before a game against the Boston Red Sox. (June 9, 2011) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Joba Chamberlain is progressing so well in his recovery from Tommy John surgery last year and an ankle dislocation suffered in a trampoline accident March 22 that he might rejoin the Yankees in less than a month, Joe Girardi said Friday.

Chamberlain pitched one inning in a rookie league game Tuesday, threw a bullpen session Thursday and is scheduled to throw another bullpen session Saturday. He then is expected to start throwing two innings in rookie games.

"For Joba, I feel good," Girardi said. "He's been out over a year, and usually spring training for a bullpen guy is about 30 days of games. You have to figure we should allow that much time. If we feel he's ready quicker, then we'll bring him back quicker."

First-round pick, Fukudome sign

The Yankees announced two signings: first-round draft pick Ty Hensley, 18, a righthanded pitcher, and veteran outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, 35, who will report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this weekend. The 6-4, 220-pound Hensley went 10-1 with a 1.52 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings for Santa Fe High in Edmond, Okla. Fukudome opened the season with the White Sox and batted .171 in 24 games before being released June 22.

Extra bases

Mark Trumbo, who hit a three-run homer off Hiroki Kuroda Friday night, has homered in five straight games against the Yankees. He is the first Yankees opponent to accomplish the feat since Albert Belle in 1994, STATS LLC said . . . Brett Gardner (right elbow strain) is scheduled to play in a simulated game Sunday in Tampa. "We'll go from there," said Girardi, who is taking a cautious approach after two aborted comeback attempts by Gardner . . . Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson threw the ceremonial first pitch.

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