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Brown had pins removed Thursday

BOSTON -- Kevin Brown will return to the New York Yankees'
rotation Sunday to start the series finale against the Boston Red
Sox.

Brown has been out since breaking his non-pitching hand when he
punched a clubhouse wall in frustration on Sept. 3. The
right-hander threw in the bullpen Friday, wearing a glove but
letting someone else catch the return throws.

Brown will pitch wearing a glove with extra padding. He
practiced with it Saturday, taking grounders during pregame infield
practice.

"I had no problem. It was kind of like the final hurdle," he
said. "I felt pretty confident that I'd be able to catch the ball
and pitch. The good thing about this is I get a chance to get my
feet wet before playoffs."

Yankees manager Joe Torre said he hadn't decided whether Brown
will be in the playoff rotation. The Yankees entered Saturday
night's game with a 5½-game lead over Boston in the AL East and
have already clinched at least a wild-card spot.

"I don't know how it'll play out, but I'm in better condition.
Right now, it's about throwing," said Brown, who should get two
starts before the end of the regular season. "It is important.
I've got to pitch pretty well for me to be a part of this team in
the playoffs."

Brown had surgery two days after punching the wall during a 3-1
loss to Baltimore that left the Yankees only 2Y games ahead of the
Red Sox. He had the pins removed from his hand on Thursday.

Pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre watched Brown throw on Friday and
gave him the OK.

"What (Mel) saw in the bullpen, he was pretty impressed with,"
Torre said. "His arm is fine."

Acquired last offseason in a trade with Los Angeles, Brown is
10-4 with a 3.99 ERA.