Girardi told reporters on Thursday that Tanaka would likely start on Tuesday or Wednesday as long as he felt well enough.
Tanaka has not pitched at the MLB level since April 23. The Yankees placed him on the 15-day disabled list on April 28 with tendonitis in his right wrist and a right forearm strain.
The 26-year-old has made two rehab starts at Triple A Scranton Wilkes-Barr, giving up three earned runs in six innings.
Girardi said Tanaka will have a pitch count of approximately 80 pitches in his first start back with the team.
The Yankees began four-game series in Oakland on Thursday and play the Mariners in Seattle starting on Monday.
New York is 25–23 on the season and in first place in the AL East.
- Molly Geary