Gerrit Cole inches closer to returning, to start mound sessions next week

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is at Yankees Stadium on April 22, 2024.

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New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole took a positive step forward in his rehab program on Tuesday, increasing his throwing distance to 120 feet with 50 throws. This milestone brings him closer to a potential return to the mound, according to manager Aaron Boone.

Gerrit Cole himself expressed optimism about the progress, acknowledging the gradual improvement in his throwing routine. Boone, however, cautioned that this development, while promising, doesn’t guarantee an immediate transition to bullpen sessions. He hinted that Gerrit Cole might resume throwing off the mound sometime next week, emphasizing the importance of a measured approach to his rehabilitation.

“I just think he’s pretty far along in that,” Boone said on Tuesday. “Pretty aggressive in where he’s been throwing — I don’t necessarily think it means he’s getting on the mound immediately. It may be sometime next week. But I know at least so far in the process and how he’s done and how it’s going is encouraging.”

Since being sidelined in early March with right elbow nerve inflammation and edema, Gerrit Cole has prioritized a cautious, day-by-day approach to his rehab. He has maintained a consistent throwing schedule on Monday and Tuesday, with a planned rest day on Wednesday. Assuming no setbacks, he will resume throwing on Thursday.

Gerrit Cole likened his current rehab to an offseason training program, highlighting the need to balance gradual progression with caution. This injury, his first stint on the injured list in his career, underscores the importance of a structured approach to ensure a full recovery.

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is pitching during the 2024 spring training.
Charles Wenzelberg/NYP

Gerrit Cole is confident but admits uncertainty

When pressed about his progress relative to an offseason program, Gerrit Cole acknowledged some uncertainty. He indicated that the timeline for his return is still being evaluated. While the recent throwing sessions are positive developments, a more definitive assessment will be made at the end of this week to determine the next steps in his recovery.

Initial projections suggested Gerrit Cole might require the equivalent of a full six-week spring training before rejoining the Yankees. However, the exact start date for this timeline remains unclear, as pitchers typically arrive at camp having already completed multiple bullpen sessions. Additionally, the Yankees ace is not eligible to come off the 60-day injured list until May 27 at the earliest, suggesting his return may extend beyond that date.

“It’s kind of a similar ramp-up to what an offseason would be like,” Gerrit Cole told, who is on the injured list for an arm injury for the first time in his career. “That’s kind of what we’re working off of. Just trying to nail it. Not go too fast, not go too slow either. But that’s kind of the structure we’re working off of.”

“It’s a good question,” he continued. “Still trying to kind of figure that out, because it’s not like the down time [a 3-4 week shutdown in which Cole kept his arm live] was down time. Trying to get through this week and then maybe have a better idea of where would be comparable.”

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