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Yankees' Gerrit Cole threw to hitters on Tuesday, says June return is still in play

The Yankees ace is on his way back.

Gerrit Cole threw to live hitters on Tuesday for the first time since landing on the IL during spring training and said he felt sharp on the mound.

The right-hander told Newsday's Laura Albanese that if all continues to go well, a June return is still in play.

Cole faced four batters at (roughly) five pitches apiece and finished with 22 pitches. He threw all of his pitches -- fastball, curve ball, changeup, slider and cutter -- topping out at 96 mph with his heater, which prompted pitching coach Matt Blake to tell his excited ace to dial it back.

The 33-year-old felt no pain during or after the session and will likely need one or two more live BPs before starting a rehab assignment.