Yankees reliever Clay Rapada is likely to begin the season on the disabled list as he returns from left shoulder bursitis.

Rapada threw 15 fastballs from the mound on Friday, but said that he needs to be able to pitch effectively three or four days in a row to help the big league club. Rapada believes he is about a week or two behind and expects to be ready in April.

“I can be a small piece to the winning puzzle, but if I’m not fully recovered I don’t want to set back the team more,” Rapada said. “If I can’t go back to back days, I feel like I’d put a lot more strain. I don’t feel like I’m very far off, but I don’t expect it to be long.”

Rapada, 32, was 3-0 with a 2.82 ERA in 70 appearances for New York last season, spanning 38 1/3 innings. Rapada’s injury figures to improve the chances of right-handers Cody Eppley or Shawn Kelley making the Opening Day roster, and Girardi also said that left-hander Vidal Nuno could be a possibility.