The Yankees expect Sabathia to miss at least six weeks after having a stem cell injection on Thursday. If things go well, the Yankees believe they’ll have Sabathia back in the rotation in early July.
“Could it be sooner, yeah,” Cashman said. “But I think this is a more likely and accurate scenario.”
Cashman said Sabathia has been on crutches since the procedure just to keep weight off the knee, but the crutches should be gone within a day or two. He will then begin a rehab process that starts with pool work, and then a flat ground throwing program, then bullpens, then a minor league rehab assignment to get stretched out. The time table is a little bit uncertain, but six weeks seems to be the best estimate.
“They don’t have any real certain time,” Cashman said. “It’s somewhat of a new protocol, so they don’t have any predictability yet in terms of consistent, it kicks in after X-amount of time. They have conveyed that the longer you can give it, the more effective the procedure.”
With Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda also on the disabled list, Cashman said he’s scoured the trade market, but trades are always difficult this early in the season.
“If you could force something externally, we would have done that already,” Cashman said.
For now, the Yankees will stick with Hiroki Kuroda, David Phelps, Vidal Nuno and Chase Whitley rounding out the rotation. Cashman said the team is prepared to stretch out Adam Warren if necessary. They’d rather not lose the bullpen weapon, but rotation alternatives are running thin.
“That’s something we may very well have to do at some point,” Cashman said.
Sabathia is signed for another two seasons, plus a vesting option for 2017.
“We’re going to have to wait and play it out,” Cashman said. “Whether you’re worried about things or not, it’s not going to change what it is.”
Associated Press photo