Andy Pettitte took what should be the final step before he makes his first start since a line drive fractured his left leg near the ankle on June 27.

The lefty threw another bullpen session on the mound at Yankee Stadium yesterday, ending with pitching coach Larry Rothschild hitting line drives and come-backers at him in preparation for Tuesday's start against the Blue Jays.

"The bullpen [session] was good," manager Joe Girardi said before the Yankees' 6-4 loss to the Rays last night. "He felt better covering the bases. Everything's a go for Tuesday."

"I felt like I tried to go a lot harder than I did last time," said Pettitte, who will be on a pitch count of about 70.

"I think he's been really pretty sharp considering the layoff he's had," Girardi said. "I expect that to carry over to Tuesday. We've been waiting for him to come back."

That includes general manager Brian Cashman.

"I'm thankful we have a chance to plug him back in," Cashman said. "As long as he's healthy, we know what he's capable of doing."

Cashman said he is hoping Pettitte is as effective as he was before the injury, after a year in retirement.