The New York Yankees have been without Gerrit Cole since late March after he suffered an elbow injury. This team has played well without him but they'd love to have him back on the mound. With that in mind, Cole reacts to the progress he's made recently.

Reports indicate that Gerrit Cole has made considerable progress with his injury status, per ESPN. He threw two 15-pitch innings during a simulated game. The Yankees are pleased with his progress and so is Cole. The star pitcher reacted to his solid day on the mound during his road to recovery.

“We hit all our goals. We did exactly what we wanted to do today. Threw a lot of strikes, so pretty good.”

This was the first time the Yankees star pitcher faced batters since suffering the elbow injury. He took on rookie-level players in front of his family and played decently well. That's a great sign for Gerrit Cole and New York.

It's unclear as to when we'll see Cole back on the mound for the Yankees. He's probably still several weeks away from returning. But from the sounds of it, Gerrit Cole should be making his 2024 season debut at some point during the summer. That'll give him enough time to ramp up for the playoffs, as New York is primed for a top seed in the American League.

Having Gerrit Cole back in the rotation would be huge for the Yankees. The offense has mainly carried this team while the pitching rotation has played up to par. But Cole can be a difference-maker for New York. He holds a career 3.17 ERA with 2,152 strikeouts and a 1.087 WHIP.

What Gerrit Cole's return means for Yankees

Gerrit Cole greeting Yankees teammates
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees currently hold the best record in the American League. Aaron Judge and Juan Soto have carried the team for the most part, while everyone else has elevated their games. New York is looking like a true contender right now, which is impressive considering they've been without star pitcher, Gerrit Cole.

Cole's eventual return will be massive for the Yankees. They'll suddenly have one of the best pitchers in baseball on the mound. He should be able to secure several wins during the second half of the regular season. Additionally, Cole's return very well could catapult New York well ahead of everyone else in the AL.

Hopefully, Gerrit Cole doesn't suffer any setbacks but if he can remain healthy after this recovery then the sky is the limit for the Yankees. They'll have the best offense paired up with one of the best pitching rotations in the MLB. New York likely can't wait to have him back on the mound but being patient is key. They don't want to rush Cole back and the fact they're the No. 1 team in their conference suggests they have the time to be patient.

With that said, look for the Yankees pitcher to return sometime during the summer. He'll have enough time to get in a groove and help his team during the middle of the season. That'll give him more than enough time to prepare for the playoffs, as New York aims to win its first World Series since 2009.