TAMPA — Joba Chamberlain expects to be back on a mound in July, according to Yankees GM Brian Cashman.
The reliever who suffered an ugly injury to his right ankle in a freak accident on a trampoline Thursday is likely out for the season with an open dislocation, meaning the bone tore through ligaments and broke through the skin.
"He was saying he could be back on the mound in July, that's what the doctors are telling him," said Cashman, who visited Chamberlain at St. Joseph's Hospital on Friday. "That's the optimistic side."
He cautioned, though, that there's no guarantee he will return at all: "As any orthopedic will tell you, you have to go through the whole spectrum."
Chamberlain suffered the injury at a children's recreation place with his 5-year-old son Karter, while jumping on a type of trampoline.
His chances of pitching in the majors this season remains small and the risk of infection remains, although Chamberlain told Cashman he could be released as early as Saturday or Sunday.
Doctors have said he won't be able to do any weight-bearing activity for anywhere from six weeks to three months, which will also impact his recovery from Tommy John surgery last year. The Yankees had hoped he could be in their bullpen by June.
"The way I work this stuff, my mindset is, until they're close to knocking on the door, [I don't think about it]," Cashman said. "Obviously, in Joba's case, it's still a question of when he comes back. I just hope we're in a position where he can come back."
Cashman also said again that he is not thinking about Chamberlain's non-guaranteed, $1.675 million deal for this season.
"I haven't looked at that at all," The GM said.
When asked if he was mad about the injury, as he has been in the past about other off-field incidents, Cashman said: "I'm sad about it. It's just a tragic, freak accident."
He compared it to riding a jet ski.
"You sign a waiver and you don't think twice that there's risk," Cashman said. "He was being a father."
And he doesn't know whether he will tell the team to refrain from other potentially dangerous situations.
"It's hard to say," Cashman said. "It's hard to tell a group of people not to be a father."