Yankees’ Gerrit Cole to throw off a mound Saturday, no timeline for a return set

It’s been a long time coming, but Yankees ace Gerrit Cole will throw off a mound for the first time since the spring.

Before Friday’s series opener against the Detroit Tigers, manager Aaron Boone gave an update on Cole, who has missed the start of the season due to elbow issues.

"It's a step. It's gone well so far with his build-up and checking the boxes," Boone said. "So far so good, getting off the mound will obviously be another step."

And while the skipper doesn't know whether Cole will throw a full bullpen or "exactly what that looks like" he was optimistic about Cole’s progress.

“I’m not sure exactly the timetable, all I know is things have been going well and we’re getting to a point where he’ll be able to go off a mound,” Boone said. “I don’t know the timeline from there, though.”

Boone explained that the clock is always ticking for his return and that pitchers need time to build up to throwing off a mound, but Cole’s rehab has progressed far enough to get to this point.

Cole was placed on the 60-day IL on Opening Day and won’t be eligible to return until May 27. However, it’s unlikely that he’ll be ready by then.

The reigning AL Cy Young winner made one spring start (March 1) where he gave up three runs in two innings pitched. Ahead of Cole’s next scheduled start, he was shut down as he felt his elbow had not recovered from his first start.

The Yankees (20-13) enter Friday’s game one game behind the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the AL East. New York dropped three games in a four-game series with Baltimore this week and has a 5-5 record over its last 10 games.