New York Yankees pitcher Frankie Montas has taken a first step toward a possible late-season return, but he still has a long road ahead of him, according to Greg Joyce of the New York Post.

Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake said that Frankie Montas began a throwing program on Tuesday, according to Joyce. He was previously shut down for 14 weeks following the arthroscopic shoulder surgery he underwent at the start of spring training. The surgery cleaned up his labrum, and the Yankees have said it is possible for Montas to return late in the season.

A potential return with a proper build-up would project as the first week of September, according to Joyce.

Matt Blake said the Yankees will be treating Montas more delicately.

“He'll be a fresh start,” Blake said, via Joyce. “And obviously it's a shoulder surgery, so it's a little big different. There's going to be some checking in with him to see how he's progressing in the early stages, making sure everything is structurally sound. So that one will be a little more delicate, just because of the nature of a shoulder surgery.”

Montas was the biggest acquisition at the 2022 trade deadline for the Yankees. Shoulder problems that predated his days with the team gave him trouble, and his performance was not good with the Yankees down the stretch as a result. Now, he is missing most of, if not all of the 2023 season ahead of becoming a free agent this offseason.

The absence of Montas along with Carlos Rodon has left multiple holes in the starting rotation. Before Luis Severino's recent return, the problem was even more pronounced. Luis Severino has been great since returning. Getting Montas and Carlos Rodon back at some point would be a big help.