NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte threw off a mound Friday for the first time since going on the disabled list June 28 with a broken left ankle.
Pettitte said he felt really good while making about 20 pitches before New York's game against the Baltimore Orioles. The 40-year-old left-hander is trying to return before the end of the regular season so he could be included in a potential playoff rotation.
"If I go backwards, there's no way I can get ready," said Pettitte, who had a setback in July during his rehabilitation. "I'm going to try to be as cautious as I can."
The three-time All-Star, baseball's career leader in postseason wins (19) and starts (42), is scheduled to be examined Saturday by team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad.
"Tomorrow's a big day as far as him telling me how much we can look forward," Pettitte said. "You could tell I was getting a little paranoid about how this thing was going to feel."
Pettitte has been sidelined since he was hit by a line drive June 27 against Cleveland. His ankle swelled up last month in Seattle while he was trying to rehab, delaying his recovery.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the next hurdle for Pettitte will be a full bullpen session.
"It's good. It's obviously a step in the right direction," Girardi said. "That means his leg is obviously feeling a lot better, for him to do what he did today, and that's what we needed to see."