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More concern over Joba's oblique strain

Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain in an undated photo.

Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain in an undated photo. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

TAMPA, Fla. – The Yankees’ low level of concern for Joba Chamberlain’s oblique strain just got a little higher.

Manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday that the Yankees’ doctors in New York are looking over an MRI Chamberlain had on Monday. Chamberlain last pitched on Friday.

“Whenever a pitcher – or anybody – is dealing with an oblique, there’s always concern,” Girardi said. “He’s been asymptomatic, but he hasn’t thrown . . . It’s one thing to feel OK, and it’s another thing to go through the [pitching] motion and feel OK.”

Sergio Mitre, who was scratched from his start on Monday because of a similar injury, is ahead of Chamberlain, Girardi said. Mitre did not have an MRI and the Yankees are hopeful he can throw a bullpen session on Wednesday. Mitre missed more than five weeks last season with an oblique strain.

Both righthanders feel the discomfort on their left sides. Girardi said the Yankees would have to see Chamberlain throw a bullpen session before they put him in a game again, and there is no timetable for that yet.

“Joba said functionally he’s fine,” Girardi said. “But I think they might give him a couple extra days. They just want to go slow and make sure they’re doing the right thing.”

The Yankees are off on Tuesday other than Bartolo Colon and CC Sabathia, who pitched to minor-leaguers in a simulated game at Steinbrenner Field.

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