Aaron Boone: Zack Britton, Luis Severino take next steps towards return

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The Yankees just lost a lefty reliever in Darren O’Day, who is off to the 10-day IL with a right rotator cuff strain, but they could be getting one back in return soon.

Aaron Boone told reporters prior to Saturday’s game against the Tigers that Zack Britton, who is working his way back from elbow surgery, threw off a mound for the first time on Friday and could return later this month.

“He threw [Friday] off the mound,” Boone said. “He threw 15 pitches…everything went well, I already saw him this morning. Britt’s doing really well.”

Britton has been one of the Yankees most valuable relievers since being traded for in 2018, and with O’Day shut down for at least a few weeks, per Boone, his return would be a big boost for a bullpen looking to remain atop the MLB leaderboards.

“I think in Britton and Voit’s case, there was I think at least a little conversation of ‘is surgery the route to go?’” Boone said. “Because I don’t think it was an ‘absolutely, go get it done.’ But I think in both cases, those guys are really excited they got it done, based on how good both guys are feeling, and Zack is well on his way.”

In addition to Britton, Luis Severino took the next step in his throwing program as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery, and he is due to face live hitters for the first time in less than two weeks.

“Two days ago, he threw live on the field with hitters in the box, where he did 20 pitches sat down, then did 15 more pitches, all of his pitches,” Boone said. “I think he’s scheduled to face hitters for the first time I think May 10 or 11. He’ll have a few more bullpen sessions like one the other day and I believe live hitters after that.”

Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1

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