New York Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda is unlikely to pick up a baseball for another week, and even after he does, likely will need approximately six weeks before he is ready to return to the team, manager Joe Girardi said Friday.
Pineda has been on the disabled list since May 6 with a shoulder strain.
"I would think August is probably realistic," Girardi said before the Yankees visited the Athletics in Oakland on Friday night.
And with CC Sabathia likely sidelined until the All-Star break, the Yankees rotation -- Hiroki Kuroda, David Phelps (who initially lost the competition for the final rotation spot to Pineda) and rookies Masahiro Tanaka, Chase Whitley and Vidal Nuno -- is likely to remain unchanged at least until mid-July.
Sabathia, on the DL with right knee inflammation, has yet to throw a bullpen session.
"It's going to be tough to get him back before the All-Star Game," Girardi said. "So until then, our rotation is our rotation."
Pineda originally injured himself while throwing a simulated game during a 10-day suspension for using pine tar on April 23. He was shut down for 10 days but experienced soreness again -- in the teres major muscle of his back, between his latissimus dorsi and his surgically repaired right shoulder -- while throwing on May 31, and he was shut down for a second time.
"Usually, they talk about doubling [the period of inactivity] when there's a setback," Girardi said, suggesting Pineda would not be scheduled even to begin throwing again until approximately June 20. "Then, you have to build him up again. That's the problem."
Once Pineda begins throwing again, he would essentially be starting from scratch, which means he would have to go through a progression of bullpen sessions, simulated games and rehab starts before he is ready to pitch in the major leagues again. That process generally takes up to six weeks.
"It's disappointing. It really is," Girardi said before joking, "I don't think we'll have to limit his innings this season."
After winning the No. 5 starter's job on the basis of an outstanding spring training, Pineda got off to a quick start -- he was 2-2 with a 1.83 ERA at the time of his suspension -- and was expected to be an important part of the Yankees rotation this season.