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Yankees RHP Tanaka to start Sunday vs Toronto, 1st game since elbow tear in July

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NEW YORK — Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka is set to start Sunday, his first game since going on the disabled list in early July because of a partial tear in his right elbow.

New York manager Joe Girardi said Friday that Tanaka is ready to face Toronto. The Japanese star is expected to throw 70 to 75 pitches.

Tanaka was 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA when he made his last start on July 8. The 25-year-old is in his first season in the majors after the Yankees paid $155 million to sign him.

Tanaka was diagnosed with a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament, and has tried to heal with rest and rehabilitation, rather than surgery.

Girardi says it's "a risk worth taking" to check his recovery.

"We feel that if his arm is going to be OK, it's going to be OK," Girardi said.

The Yankees want to know if Tanaka's elbow is all right. If not, he could soon have Tommy John surgery and miss all of the 2015 season.

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