Andy Pettitte anxious to get back on a mound

Andy Pettitte looks on against the Los Angeles Andy Pettitte looks on against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Yankee Stadium. (July 14, 2012) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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Forget a timetable for Andy Pettitte to return to pitch for the Yankees. At this point, he's anxiously awaiting the doctors' approval to get back on the mound.

Pettitte suffered a fractured left fibula June 27 and the hope was that the lefthander would return by Sept. 1.

"Obviously, my question is 'Just tell me when I can get on the mound,' " Pettitte said Tuesday. "That's all I care about. I am just doing what they tell me to do. I am trying to take it as easy as I possibly can until I can get on the mound. As soon as I can do it, I can have some kind of an idea of when I can be ready."

Pettitte suffered a setback in his rehab when he pushed himself too hard and Tuesday he expressed the need to be cautious.

"I know now that if I have another setback, then we got serious problems and my season is probably over," Pettitte said. "Now, we're probably going to be overcautious and figure out what we can do to make sure I'm back and what do I need to get ready."

Said manager Joe Girardi: "I think if you're going to have a two- or three-week setback, you're going to be in trouble. We have to make sure he's right when he gets on the mound. You have to watch Andy every step of the way. He thought he was going to heal in two weeks and he was going to be back on the mound in four. That's his competitive nature."

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Pettitte said Tuesday that he felt really good and the X-ray he had Monday looked good. Pettitte had a setback late last month on a West Coast road trip causing swelling and it set him back about 10 days.

The 40-year-old is 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA in nine starts after coming out of a one-year retirement. Pettitte plans on doing some long-tossing this week to stretch out his arm.

Pettitte thinks he will need about two weeks to get ready once he's back on the mound and if he can make at least two starts in September, he should be able to pitch in the postseason if the Yankees qualify.

Girardi expects Pettitte to be ready next month

"You can't go too late," Girardi said. "As he continues to heal, we'll get him on the mound as soon as we can. The good thing is he's able to play catch and try to keep the arm strength as much as you can."

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