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Joba: I'm shooting for April

Joba Chamberlain was a surprise arrival in the Yankees clubhouse, looking surprisingly fit for a man who had undergone three surgeries in the space of 25 days. Joba underwent Tommy John surgery in June, and then less than a month later, had an emergency appendectomy. Three days later, having been discharged from the hospital, he returned, in great pain, to learn that he had an abdominal infection that required more surgery, a drain inserted into his abdomen and a two-week stay in the hospital.

"It was the worst thing ever,'' he said. "I would rather have about 10 Tommy Johns than two stomach surgeries. That was no fun.''

Chamberlain said he began a weight-lifting program today and would begin throwing "in a couple of weeks.''

Although Tommy John surgery generally comes with a 12-18 month rehabilitation period, Chamberlain said he believes his might be significantly shorter. "Everybody's different,'' he said. "Obviously I'm not working up to 110, 115 pitches. So that cuts your timetable a little bit. I probably just have to get up to 30 pitches, I'd say. So March puts us at 9 months, middle of April puts us at 10 months. Somewhere around then is what I'm looking for. Obviously Rome wasn't built in a day, and I understand that. But that's my goal for myself. Obviously not to push it, but I think that's a realistic goal for me.''