Understanding whose body we are talking about, something can break between now and pitchers and catchers reporting to Tampa in February.

Yet, in the second week of November, Joba Chamberlain is looking forward to reporting to spring training under no restrictions caused by injury.

And he says it doesn't matter how the Yankees want to use him.

"I am looking forward to getting into it from the get-go,'' Chamberlain said at Yankee Stadium Thursday, where he accepted donations for victims of Hurricane Sandy. "Knowing that going into it I am not coming off elbow surgery and be able to compete from Day 1 and do the work but not being able to pitch.''

Not only was Chamberlain coming back from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last spring, he dislocated his right ankle in a trampoline accident during camp.

When he did return in late July, Chamberlain appeared in 22 games, posting an ERA of 4.35.

Has it really been six years since Chamberlain electrified out of the bullpen with a 100-mph heater?

He was going to be Mariano Rivera's successor, right after he finished dealing with the "Joba Rules.'' Then he was going to be the next Roger Clemens as a starter. Then it was back to the bullpen. Then a blown-out elbow ligament.

Now, after five full seasons in the big leagues, the 27-year-old Chamberlain is excited simply about a season without injury.

"That's what I am looking forward to from Day 1, that it's a go. There is no, 'What's your program for the next two weeks?' Now, it's all systems go from Day 1.''

Where will that philosophy lead?

Rivera is coming back to handle the ninth. Rafael Soriano appears to be headed elsewhere via free agency and David Robertson proved in 2011 he can handle the eighth inning.