New York Yankees

Yankees happy to have Masahiro Tanaka back on mound less than a month after concussion

For some, the sight of Masahiro Tanaka on the Yankee Stadium mound on Saturday night elicited a feeling of relief.

Less than a month earlier — on July 4, the date of the Yankees' first workout of Spring Training II — Tanaka lay on that same mound in pain after being struck on the right side of the head by Giancarlo Stanton's 112-mph line drive.

In that moment, manager Aaron Boone and the righthander’s Yankees teammates were more concerned about his health than if he would pitch again.

Tanaka planned to wear a protective insert on the right side of his cap, something he experimented with while working out at the team’s alternate site in Scranton.

Signing Gerrit Cole in free agency may have been the big move by the Yankees as they attempt to make that last step to winning a World Series, but Tanaka is very much a part of the blueprint for success.

They still need to progress daily and [you] continue to pass hurdles as you up the strenuous work and up the cardio and the heart rate that you're doing.

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