It's almost time to start the clock on Joba Chamberlain's return to the big leagues.

Chamberlain threw a simulated game yesterday in Tampa and if nothing goes wrong with a bullpen session tomorrow there is a chance the Yankees reliever, on the 60-day disabled list, will begin a rehab assignment.

"Possibly a rehab game Tuesday at some level,'' manager Joe Girardi said of Chamberlain, who is coming back from last summer's Tommy John surgery and a dislocated right ankle in spring training.

Rehab assignments for pitchers are 30 days unless the clock is stopped.

"You expect somewhat of a spring training,'' Girardi said when asked how long Chamberlain might need to get ready. "That's almost 30 [days] for some people. I can't tell you what our needs will be, that could change and we would speed it up.''