Sabathia seems done for the season
MINNEAPOLIS (MCT) — You can pretty much forget about seeing CC Sabathia in a Yankees uniform again this season.
Joe Girardi said as much before yesterday afternoon's 6-5 victory over the Twins when he discussed the lefthander's swollen right knee, an injury that flared up again after a rehab start Wednesday night in Trenton, N.J.
An upcoming visit to Dr. James Andrews July 14 could yield even worse news — the need for microfracture surgery that not only would cost the 33-year-old the rest of 2014 but perhaps much more time than that.
"I'm sure surgery is possible," Girardi said. "That's always a possibility when you have a degenerative knee. That's a surgery that a lot of players don't want to hear that they need to have. It's a pretty long rehab."
Two days after Sabathia landed on the disabled list May 11, he visited Andrews, who diagnosed what general manager Brian Cashman called "degenerative changes" in his knee cartilage. Sabathia received an injection of cortisone and stem cells, a procedure the Yankees hoped would lead to his return shortly after the All-Star break.
There's no chance of that happening now, and regarding the idea that Sabathia is done for the season, Girardi said, "I think that's probably fair to say."
And the possibility that Sabathia will never pitch for the Yankees again?
"I think it's too early to predict that," Girardi said. "But whenever you have degenerative issues that cause surgery or things like that, there's always a little question."
Sabathia is in the middle of a five-year, $122-million deal that will pay him through 2016 and has a $25-million vesting option for 2017.
Microfracture surgery, performed in order to stimulate cartilage growth in areas with cartilage damage, is not common among baseball players.
Corey Hart, activated yesterday by the Brewers, missed all of 2013 after having it done twice. Grady Sizemore, a teammate of Sabathia's with the Indians, had it done in 2010.
Many more basketball players have had the procedure, including Amar'e Stoudemire, Jason Kidd, Tracy McGrady and Greg Oden.
Because of a packed schedule, Andrews won't be able to see Sabathia for more than a week, leaving the Yankees in limbo to a degree.