<
>

Hiroki Kuroda likely to make start

DETROIT -- New York Yankees pitcher Hiroki Kuroda threw 36 pitches in a bullpen session Friday morning and, barring a setback, is expected to make his next scheduled start on Monday against the Indians in Cleveland.

"I wasn't 100 percent, but it went well actually. For me, I want to make that start," he said. "I think with the extra two days I'll be able to recover. I haven't really gone full strength yet. So at this stage I'm okay.''

Pitching coach Larry Rothschild said Kuroda had "no problems at all."

"He threw all his pitches," Rothschild said. "We'll see how it is tomorrow, but he looked fine."

Kuroda's next start was in doubt after he was clipped on the middle finger by a line drive through the middle hit by Shane Victorino in the second inning of Wednesday's 7-4 Yankees loss to the Red Sox. Kuroda faced three more batters, hitting two of them and walking the third, before he was removed from the game.

"I wasn't able to put my strength on the ball," Kuroda said then.

X-rays of Kuroda's finger were negative, and he was diagnosed with a contusion of his middle finger.

Before the game, manager Joe Girardi said he was considering using Adam Warren in Kuroda's place on Monday, or even promoting Phil Hughes, currently on the DL with a bulging disk in his upper back, to make the start.

"It's something we'll have to think about," Girardi said. "My guess is (Kuroda's) going to feel OK, but it's hard to say until you really go out and throw."