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Masahiro Tanaka shut down by Yankees with general soreness

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"General soreness" in his injured pitching arm sends Masahiro Tanaka home to the Bronx as he attempts to come back in time for the playoff races.

Scott Iskowitz

The Yankees have sent 25-year-old pitcher Masahiro Tanaka back to New York after he experienced pain during a throwing session on Thursday in Detroit, according to MLB.com's Chris Toman.

Tanaka believed the "little extra bit of soreness", as he said through an interpreter, was from not having pitched recently rather than an aggravation of his torn UCL."I haven't been throwing for a couple of weeks and then I started throwing again and built up the number of pitches. I think that's the reason," he said.

The young pitcher isn't the only one who seems relatively at ease about his arm issues. Manager Joe Girardi appeared optimistic that Tanaka's assessment of the situation was correct.

As he told Toman, "There's obviously concern, but I think we play it out this week to see where we're at." In fact, the Yankees manager said while Tanaka would skip his throwing session on Tuesday, he would still be doing soft tosses and may thrown in the bullpen sometime next week. "He's going to continue to play catch and do some exercises that a pitcher would normally do, and we'll go from there," Girardi said.

The lack of panic comes from a mix of optimism and Tanaka's insistence that the pain is not in any particular part of the arm but a "general soreness."

"When we ask him is there one spot, he does not point to one spot, he just says general soreness," Girardi said.

It's not as though Girardi isn't aware of the risks, however. As he told Toman, "We're going to proceed, and it's either going to be he's healthy or he needs surgery."