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Tanaka preparing for next step in recovery

AP

Masahiro Tanaka plans to throw a bullpen this week, the next step for the injured New York Yankees ace as he tries to overcome a recent setback.

New York manager Joe Girardi said Tanaka threw well Tuesday, and team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad diagnosed the right-hander with arm fatigue. Tanaka, hoping to avoid Tommy John surgery, was sent back to New York last weekend to work out and play catch at Yankee Stadium after feeling general soreness in his arm Friday, one day after he threw 49 pitches in a simulated game in Detroit.

Tanaka has been sidelined since July 9 with a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, but the Yankees have been holding out hope that he can get back in time to contribute to a playoff push.

The Japanese sensation is 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in his first major league season.

Tanaka was transferred to the 60-day disabled list Tuesday in a procedural move as the Yankees made a flurry of additions before their first game since active rosters expanded. He is now eligible to come off the DL next week.

New York called up catcher John Ryan Murphy, right-hander Preston Claiborne, right-hander Bryan Mitchell, right-hander Chase Whitley, right-hander Chaz Roe, left-hander Rich Hill, outfielder Antoan Richardson and outfielder Chris Young from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.