Masahiro Tanaka to throw bullpen session Saturday

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Masahiro Tanaka continues to make progress in his attempt to return from a partially torn elbow ligament without needing Tommy John surgery, as the Yankees announced that he’ll throw a bullpen session Saturday.

That represents a big step for Tanaka, who’ll advance to throwing off a mound after playing catch from flat ground earlier this week.

Tanaka was shut down in mid-July, but rather than immediately go under the knife and begin the 12-month (or longer) recovery process he’s hoping rest and rehab will do the trick.