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Masahiro Tanaka has 'general arm soreness' after pitching simulated game

Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka watches from the

Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka watches from the dugout after leaving the game in the seventh inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Cleveland. Credit: AP / Tony Dejak

TORONTO - Masahiro Tanaka's rehab is on hold, a setback that seriously jeopardizes his chances of returning to the Yankees' rotation this season.

A day after throwing a three-inning simulated game, he told the club he was experiencing "general arm soreness," though no pain in his right elbow.

Tanaka will return Saturday to New York, where he will work out over the weekend. Joe Girardi said Tanaka will continue to play catch but won't throw another bullpen session for "maybe a week."

After Thursday's seemingly successful 49-pitch outing, the Yankees had discussed having Tanaka make a rehab start against minor-leaguers Tuesday in Tampa, Florida.

"Is there concern? Of course there's concern," Girardi said. "But when we asked him, 'Is there one spot?' he's not pointing to one spot, he just says general soreness. So he wants time to physically catch up a little bit."

No tests or doctor's visits are scheduled for the weekend, though Tanaka will be evaluated by team physician Christopher Ahmad on Tuesday.

He will work out at the Stadium, which has superior facilities to the Rogers Centre, Saturday, Sunday and Monday with assistant athletic trainer and physical therapist Mike Schuk.

Tanaka has been on the disabled list since July 9 with a slight tear in his ulnar collateral ligament, an injury he and the club continue to hope won't require Tommy John surgery.

He said he does not feel any pain in the elbow and still won't rule out a return this season, though this setback seemingly ends that idea. He said the soreness is "throughout" the entire arm, not in one particular area.

Tanaka answered "no" when asked if he is worried. He intimated that the soreness is a fatigue issue and isn't related to the UCL tear.

"I want to be a little bit cautious," he said. "I hadn't been throwing for a couple of weeks and then I started throwing again and built up the number of pitches I was throwing. I think that's the reason why there is a little bit of extra soreness in the arm itself."

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