The right-hander allowed an infield hit and struck out one in 1 1-3 innings Saturday in an extended spring training game. He threw 18 pitches and appears on target to be back in June.
"First time out, more than I was expecting," Nova said. "Everything was good. I'm happy."
Nova, 40-22 in parts of five major league seasons, is scheduled to throw two innings Thursday at extended spring training.
Left-hander Chris Capuano, out since hurting his right quadriceps during spring training, gave up one unearned run, two hits and struck out four in four innings in his first rehab start Saturday night for Class A Tampa. Barring a setback, Capuano could return this month.
Reliever Jared Burton, coming back from a strained lat, allowed two hits in an inning in Saturday's extended spring game.