ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Right-hander Carl Pavano could return to New York’s starting rotation next week when the Yankees return home.

Manager Joe Torre said Tuesday that he was hopeful “that first week when we get home that (Pavano) is a possibility.”

Pavano, 4-6 with a 4.77 ERA, was put on the disabled list July 7 with right shoulder tendinitis. He has been at the team’s complex in Tampa, Fla., where the right-hander threw a 45-pitch bullpen session and two 20-pitch simulated innings Monday without any problems.

After playing their first 11 games following the All-Star break on the road, the Yankees return home July 26 for a pair of three-game series against Minnesota and the Los Angeles Angels. The way New York’s rotation is aligned, the July 30 game against the Angels would be his likely slot.

Pavano is one of three Yankees starters still on the disabled list. Right-handers Jaret Wright and Chien-Ming Wang are also unavailable because of shoulder problems.

Right-hander Kevin Brown missed a month because of his chronic back problems before returning to the rotation Monday night without the benefit of a rehabilitation start. He lasted just 4 1-3 innings at Texas, giving up six runs and 10 hits – two of them homers. He struck out three and walked none, throwing 53 of 82 pitches for strikes.

“I’m all right,” Brown said Tuesday. “It’s stiff, but not any worse than normal.”

Brown expects to make his next scheduled start at the Angels, though the Yankees still haven’t listed their weekend starters.

Wright, who has been on the disabled list since April 24, is working out in Tampa. Wang was diagnosed Monday with inflammation and a strain in his right shoulder, and will go through an exercise and throwing program to determine if he can return without surgery.

Torre doesn’t sound like he expects to see Wright again this season.

“He’s rehabbing now. It’s still a little early to count on that,” Torre said. “When you get a guy injured early and what he went through, you really write him off until he shows up. And if that happens, you make a spot for him.”

Wright was 2-2 with a 9.15 ERA in his four starts for the Yankees before going on the DL with a right shoulder strain.

It is the eighth time Wright has been on the disabled list in his nine-year career, and the sixth time because of a shoulder problem.

He had season-ending surgery in 2000 and 2001.


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