Andy Pettitte suffers left ankle fracture

NEW YORK — The news in the Yankees clubhouse has moved from bad to worse, as Andy Pettitte suffered a left ankle fracture in Wednesday’s start against the Indians and will miss a minimum of six weeks.

Pettitte was struck by a ball off the bat of Cleveland’s Casey Kotchman in the fifth inning, forcing him to leave the game. Pettitte will be placed on crutches and will use a boot, but the Yankees said that surgery is not believed to be necessary.

The 40-year-old left-hander was in obvious discomfort as he threw several warmup pitches after the injury, but he convinced manager Joe Girardi to allow him to stay in the game. Pettitte threw one pitch, a strike, to Lou Marson, but was then removed and limped off the field.

The injury added a higher level of concern to an afternoon in which the Yankees announced they plan to place ace left-hander CC Sabathia on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain, which Sabathia suffered on Sunday against the Mets at Citi Field.

New York had planned to have veteran Freddy Garcia pitch in Sabathia’s place on Friday, but Garcia was needed for 2 1/3 innings of relief because of Pettitte’s early exit. Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre right-hander Adam Warren appears to be the likely choice to start on Friday.

After missing all of the 2011 season, Pettitte came out of retirement this spring and rejoined the Yankees on May 13. He was making his ninth start of the season and is 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA.

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