TAMPA – As a collective fan base held its breath, Gerrit Cole “felt pretty good” as he left his meeting with Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles earlier this week.

The Yankees ace was diagnosed with nerve inflammation and edema in his elbow, which will shut him down from throwing for three to four weeks before he attempts to build back up, but considering the potential alternatives, he seemed upbeat with his prognosis.

“I think we’ve determined that we just got a little too hot a little too quick in spring,” Cole said Saturday at Steinbrenner Field in his first comments since undergoing a battery of tests on his pitching elbow. “We progressed through the normal recovery cycle, but at a certain time, we didn’t get back to our baseline, which was kind of our target. At that point, it was time to see what was going on.”

If Cole is able to start his throwing program without any issues in three to four weeks, he will still likely need the full buildup of spring training, which is six weeks, leaving the door open for a return by late May in a best-case scenario.

Gerrit Cole was diagnosed with nerve inflammation and edema in his elbow, putting him out three to four weeks before he can start building his strength back up.Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Cole indicated he was “absolutely” confident that he will be back pitching this season.

The 33-year-old, the reigning AL Cy Young award winner, said he will not receive any PRP shots in his elbow, instead opting for “just rest and recovery” over the next three to four weeks.

“We’re going to keep the arm live though,” Cole said, referring to plyometrics and arm movements. “It’s not like we’re not doing anything. That was the term that the doctors described – you’re going to keep the arm live for the next three-four weeks and then hit the ground running.”

This will be the first time Cole has been on the injured list for any kind of an arm injury.

He said he felt great during the offseason and had never experienced anything like this before.

“I mean, it’s not a common experience for me,” he said. “I haven’t really dealt with anything like this before. Anytime you’re going through something for the first time, there’s a little bit of uncertainty. But I had a lot of faith.”