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Aaron Boone said Corey Kluber is still expected to be out about two months with a shoulder strain, but there is some optimism regarding the injury and the Yankees right-hander could begin a throwing program “probably in the next few days.”
That’s in contrast to the original prognosis, which called for Kluber to be shut down for at least four weeks, with a four-week rehab if all went well.
But after Kluber sought different opinions — including from Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles — Boone said he would start throwing off flat ground soon.
“I would say there is some optimism,” Boone said before the Yankees faced the Rays on Thursday in The Bronx. “It was recommended he start throwing sooner rather than later and hopefully that is a good sign.”
Kluber left his last start on May 25 with shoulder tightness after three innings. It came one outing after the 35-year-old threw a no-hitter against the Rangers in Texas.
He was expected to get back to New York on Thursday, when Kluber and the Yankees would map out a schedule.
Despite the potential change in plans, Boone said he still expected Kluber to be out the same amount of time as originally stated.
“It’s the same timeline,” Boone said. “The course of action has been altered a little bit.”
In other rotation news, Luis Severino is scheduled to make his first rehab start Sunday with Low-A Tampa as he comes back from last year’s Tommy John surgery. The Yankees anticipated having the right-hander back in the coming months. If he’s on a spring training schedule, he’d likely need to make at least five starts before rejoining the rotation.
Zack Britton continues to make progress in his return from March elbow surgery. After allowing a homer in his second rehab outing with Double-A Somerset on Wednesday, the left-hander told Boone Thursday he felt good and his pitches were better than in the first appearance. He’s scheduled to pitch again on Saturday.
“I think he’s encouraged,” Boone said.
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