MINNEAPOLIS – It appears that New York Yankees starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia’s season could be over after waking up Thursday morning with fluid in his knee following a rehab start with the team’s Double-A affiliate.
Hours after ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that Sabathia was facing the possibility of microfracture surgery in his knee, which would effectively end his season, Yankees manager Joe Girardi revealed to reporters prior to Friday’s game against the Minnesota Twins that Sabathia is scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews a week from Monday.
Girardi indicated that the team is moving forward as if they will not have Sabathia for the remainder of the season, despite their initial hopes that he could return after the All-Star break to help shore up a depleted rotation.
“I think that’s probably fair to say,” Girardi responded when asked if Sabathia was considered to be out for the year.
Worse yet, Girardi confirmed that microfracture surgery could be an option for Sabathia, who has been diagnosed with a “degenerative condition” in his knee. If he does need to undergo surgery, even Girardi questions whether the 33-year-old would ever pitch again.
“Whenever you have degenerative issues that cause surgery, there's always a little question [of if they can come back],” Girardi told reporters.
Questions about Sabathia’s health were raised on Wednesday night by one American League scout who told me that he looked like he was “pitching at half-speed.” The same scout had clocked Sabathia’s fastball in the 88-90 MPH range, with him topping out at 92 MPH on his second pitch.
Asked after his appearance with Double-A Trenton, Sabathia indicated he felt good and thought the media made too much of his diminishing velocity.
Sabathia was in the midst of his worst season to date before hitting the disabled list on May 10, going 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA in eight starts. He still has three years and $73 million remaining on a contract he signed prior to the 2009 season.