NEW YORK (AP) Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia anticipates he will come off the disabled list late next week.
Sabathia went on the DL because of a strained left groin on May 5 and can be activated as soon as May 20.
''It's only going to be the 15 days, I'm sure,'' Sabathia said Wednesday.
The 35-year-old left-hander has been playing catch and said he will throw a bullpen session later this week.
''We won't really know until he starts really throwing off the mound,'' New York manager Joe Girardi said. ''Right now I would say he's on track.''
Sabathia said he could not have attempted to conceal the injury from the Yankees.
''I needed the treatment,'' he said. ''There was a lot of bruising down there, so it would have been hard to hide it. I couldn't have gotten away with it.''
Ivan Nova took Sabathia's slot in the rotation and did not get a decision Monday against Kansas City, when he allowed one run in 4 2/3 innings. He is slated to pitch Saturday against the Chicago White Sox and May 19 at Oakland, so Sabathia's return could be pushed back to the following series against Toronto.
Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, sidelined since Friday because of a strained muscle in his right hip, ran on the dirt between the bases Wednesday and could return toward the end of the current homestand.
''He is making progress. He is not ready to play. He is not running at enough of a percentage where I feel comfortable putting him in there,'' Girardi said. ''Let's wait a few more days and see if we can get him back this weekend. I would hate to DL him now at this point when we went this far.''
Designated hitter Alex Rodriguez, on the DL since May 4 because of a strained right hamstring, could return May 19, the first day the 40-year-old is eligible for reinstatement to the active roster.
''He's been running on the treadmill,'' Girardi said. ''Whether we do a rehab or not, we haven't made that decision.''
First baseman Mark Teixeira did not play for the second straight night because of neck spasms.
''He's hopeful that he'll be a player for us tomorrow,'' Girardi said.