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Yankees Injury Updates: Nova to face live batters soon

Injury updates on Nova, Pirela, Ellsbury, Sabathia and Bailey.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We're just two weeks away from Opening Day, and for the most part, there's nothing but good news to report about the Yankees who are nursing injuries.

Ivan Nova threw his first breaking pitches since his injury yesterday, mixing in curveballs and change ups. He said he was nervous because breaking pitches are more taxing on your elbow than fastballs, but his elbow felt fine afterwards. If things continue to go according to plan, Nova could throw live batting practice as soon as next week. He hasn't faced live batters since he tore his UCL last April. He's now expected to return to the Yankees' rotation around June 1st.

Jose Pirela suffered a concussion on Sunday after crashing into the outfield wall during the game. He was taken to the hospital to get checked out, and the good news is that the neck and spine MRI findings were normal. There's no word on whether he's done with spring training, or when he is expected to be cleared to play at this point since concussion recovery is so unpredictable. Unfortunately, the small chance that Pirela had of making the roster out of spring training is likely gone now, especially since infielder Brendan Ryan has recovered from his own injury and is back to playing in games.

Jacoby Ellsbury has been dealing with a mild oblique strain since March 15th and has not hit or played catch since the injury occurred, though he did say that the strain is healing. He wasn't expected to miss much time originally, but the strain turned out to be worse than they thought. Despite being held out of baseball activities, Ellsbury is confident that he will be ready to play by Opening Day and he doesn't think that his play in April will be negatively impacted by the injury or the spring training time lost. After all, he did miss two weeks of spring training last year and went on to have a fantastic April (.312/.369/.452).

CC Sabathia has made two starts in spring training now, and while he hasn't pitched the cleanest innings, he's happy to report that he's not feeling anything in his knee. It's too early to tell how he will pitch during the regular season (or to be alarmed by the home runs he's given up so far), but his velocity does appear to have increased a bit, so hopefully he'll have better stuff than last year.

Finally, Andrew Bailey has been working his way back from major shoulder surgery in 2013. He's now made two appearances during spring training, and has said that his shoulder is feeling good. Joe Girardi said that the next step is for him to pitch back-to-back days, and when Bailey is capable of doing that, he just might sneak his way into the bullpen.