ARLINGTON, Texas -- Reliever Andrew Bailey took a step toward being activated from the disabled list Wednesday, throwing live batting practice to two teammates at The Ballpark in Arlington after missing the first four months of the season.
Bailey underwent surgery on a torn thumb ligament at the end of spring training, then suffered a setback with some forearm issues last month.
But Wednesday, as he threw about 20 pitches to Pedro Ciriaco and Daniel Nava, was a positive, and it's possible that Bailey could rejoin his teammates by the middle of next month.
"It went really well,'' said Bailey of Wednesday's session. "I'm just anxious to get back out there and help this team win.''
The plan now calls for Bailey to throw another BP session Saturday either in Yankee Stadium or another venue, then begin a rehab assignment in the minor leagues.
"We're just going to take it a step at a time,'' said Bailey. "I threw my fastball, cutter, curveball and changeup. Everything felt great. There was no hesitation on any of my pitches, so I was able to accomplish everything that you need to accomplish with my first live BP and that was fine.''
Bailey said he feels no discomfort in either the surgically-repaired thumb or in his forearm.
"I feel good,'' said Bailey. "That little hiccup (with the forearm) was unfortunate and just something I've dealt with in the past. But the thumb feels great, forearm feels great and now it's just a matter of getting into game situations, so hopefully soon, I'll be back with the team.''
Bailey needs to make about a half-dozen or so minor league assignments, including at least two back-to-back. Because he'll need some time in between his first few appearances, the rehab process could take a couple of weeks.
But he's close to returning, something he could sense Wednesday.
"It felt great (throwing), it felt normal,'' he said. "It's definitely a step up from throwing in the bullpen. Obviously, with hitters in the box, you're going to get that little adrenaline. But there's always another extra step that you can't (replicate) unless you're in a game situation. That's the next step, and obviously at the big league level, there's another jump.
"I'm looking forward to that adrenaline, for sure.''