CC Sabathia to have season-ending knee surgery

CC SabathiaCC Sabathia’s season is over. The Yankees left-hander has been scheduled to have arthroscopic debridement surgery on his right knee, in the hopes of correcting an issue that limited the workhorse to just eight starts this year.

Sabathia has selected Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the Dodgers’ team physician, to perform the July 23 procedure. Sabathia was also seen by Yankees team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad and Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister before making his decision.

“He’ll get it cleaned up and obviously it will end his season,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “Hopefully next year will be a different story.”

Cashman took some solace in that Sabathia is not having micro-fracture surgery, which the hurler had reached out to friend and NBA star Amar’e Stoudamire about; Cashman described this more as a clean-up of what has been diagnosed to be a knee displaying degenerative cartilage conditions.

“It doesn’t mean that’s not off the table,” Cashman said. “I just think that anyone that looks at that circumstance realizes that it’s a bad thing and there is no predictable outcome.”

Sabathia was 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA in eight starts this season, making his last appearance on May 10 against the Brewers in Milwaukee. He attempted to rehab the injury but had more knee issues after his second Minor League start on July 2.

Cashman said that Sabathia also has a cyst behind his right knee, and that some consideration was given to draining it and attempting rehab again. Ultimately, the choice was made to go forward with surgery and roll the clock ahead to 2015.

The Yankees’ expectation is that Sabathia should have enough time to recover and have a relatively normal off-season going into Spring Training.

“Because we’re in July, I think he’ll come into Spring Training in theory ready to go,” Cashman said. “Given the number of things that have gone on, we’ll have to be careful with him nonetheless.”

The Yankees have lost 80 percent of their Opening Day starting rotation, with Sabathia and Ivan Nova (Tommy John surgery) lost for the year. Michael Pineda is rehabbing and hopes to return in August, and Masahiro Tanaka is beginning a six-week rehab program.

Sabathia will turn 34 on July 21. Since signing with the Yankees before the 2009 season, Sabathia is 91-46 with a 3.59 ERA in 169 regular season games with New York, claiming a 2009 World Series ring.

He is in the third year of a five-year, $122 million extension that was agreed upon after the 2011 season; Sabathia will earn $23 million in 2015, $25 million in 2016 and has a vesting option worth $25 million in 2017 that contains a $5 million buyout.

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